Quarterly Report: 2008, April - June (Q4), Emmonak

Community:
Emmonak 
Staff:
Elizabeth Manfred  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Emmonak 
Population:
796  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/31/2008 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Emmonak owns and operates the piped water/sewer system. The City also owns and operates the washeteria/sauna. A new washeteria construction is in the last stage of completion. The City council is the policy making body for this utility. Water is derived from the Yukon river and is treated. Piped water and sewer services are provided to most of the residents of Emmonak. Currently, there are 206 connections to this system. Out of those connected, there are 185 residential homes and 23 businesses in service. The next water/sewer Village Safe Water funding will connect six new Emmonak tribal housing units. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff members traveled to Emmonak this quarter to assist City staff with a QuickBooks accounting issue and to conduct a RUBA assessment of management capacity. The QuickBooks issue that needed correction involved a large negative balance showing in the general petty cash account. Unfortunately the majority of this error was due to the beginning balance in 2000 being entered incorrectly. An adjusting entry was made for 12/31/07 then monthly adjusting entries thereafter for January- April 2008. Beginning in May 2008, entries were reviewed on a daily basis for accuracy. The goal was to leave the treasurer with a QuickBooks balance in the account that reflected the actual cash in the safe along with the knowledge of how to keep the account accurate and balanced. After the general petty cash account was corrected, the same procedure was done with the gaming petty cash account. The city treasurer appears to have a good understanding of the corrections made and how to ensure the financial data stays accurate within the daily entries. City Manager Martin Moore was very helpful in providing general information, explaining the services offered by the City, and answering questions in the Personnel System, Organizational Management, and Operation of Utility sections of the RUBA management assessment. City Treasurer Antonia Kameroff answered the financial and accounting assessment questions and provided copies of the current budget, financial reports, and other documents. City Land Planner John Moses was very helpful in showing RUBA staff the City's code of ordinances and personnel filing system. He provided copies of the water sewer utility ordinance, personnel policies, personnel evaluation form and a list of city staff names, positions, and contact information. Land Planner Moses also briefly explained the City's current water sewer project. The City of Emmonak has a large staff that appears well organized and capable of managing its utilities and other enterprises. All essential management capacity indicators are currently being met.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to request and monitor monthly finance reports and assist when requested.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
19 of 27
Total Score:
46 of 54

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
Yes The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
Yes Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
Yes The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
Yes The utility has on hand a year's adequate fuel supply or it has a financial plan to purchase an adequate supply.
Yes The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources) sufficient to cover operating expenses.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources sufficient to cover operating expenses and Repair & Replacement (R) costs.
Yes YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.
Yes YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The utility budget is realistic and balanced and adoption of the budget was documented with meeting minutes from June 26, 2007. A recent budget vs. actual financial report shows utility revenues higher than expected and expenses at, or slightly lower than those budgeted. Recent AVEC billing statements indicate electrical bills for the City are paid regularly and fuel is purchased from a local supplier as needed. Budget amendments are reportedly not adopted. There may be revenues sufficient to fund a repair and replacement account; however, R and R expense is not included in the budget. The manager reports verbally to the council; however, efforts to obtain meeting minutes that document the manager reports have been unsuccessful.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
Yes The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
Yes An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts.
Yes An accounts payable system is in place.
Yes The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
Yes A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent.
Yes The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes A chart of accounts is used that identifies categories in a reasonable, usable manner.
Yes Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts.
Yes The utility has a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase, and the approval process compares proposed purchases to budgeted amounts.
Accounting Systems Comments
The City of Emmonak uses the 2007 version of QuickBooks for accounting functions, including payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable and utility billing. Manual ledgers are also kept for some accounting functions and have been helpful to the new treasurer as she learns the QuickBooks system. Bank accounts were reconciled at the time of the assessment, and a purchasing system is in place that requires written approval for all purchases. The collection policy is enforced with non-payment resulting in disconnection of service. The manager reported a collection rate of 85% and that there are currently fourteen customers that have been disconnected for non-payment.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
Yes The utility is current on filing tax reports.
Yes The utility is current on making tax deposits.
Yes If there are any past due tax liabilities or recorded tax liens, a lien release has been issued or a repayment agreement has been signed and repayments are current.
Tax Problems Comments
In response to a request for tax information, the IRS reported on May 13, 2008 that the City of Emmonak is current with federal tax filing and deposit requirements. The Alaska Department of Labor reported that the City is also current with state ESC requirements.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted and uses a Personnel Policy, which has been reviewed by an attorney, AML or Commerce for topics and language.
Yes The utility has adequate written job descriptions for all positions.
Yes The utility has adopted and follows a written personnel evaluation process that ties the job description to the evaluation.
Yes The utility has an adequate written hiring process.
Yes The utility has personnel folders on every employee that contain at least: I-9, Job Application and Letter of Acceptance.
Yes The utility has a probationary period for new hires that includes orientation, job training/oversight, and evaluations.
Yes The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
Workers compensation insurance is provided by AML/JIA and is valid to July 1, 2008. A copy of Chapter 2.60 Personnel System was provided to RUBA staff. Although some sections are quite short and do not provide detailed procedures, the ordinance appears to address the necessary employment topics. A copy of a performance evaluation form was provided to RUBA, and city staff report that evaluations are conducted at ninety days for new employees and annually thereafter, as outlined in the personnel ordinance. There are folders for all personnel that contain applications, payroll and tax records, I-9s, evaluations, and other employment records.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
Yes The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
Yes The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained operator or operators.
Yes The utility has adopted the necessary ordinances (or rules and regulations) necessary to give it the authority to operate.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure.
Yes The policy making body meets as required.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The City of Emmonak is well known as the provider of water and sewer service for the community, meets regularly, and observes the Open Meetings Act. The utility has adopted an ordinance that authorizes it to operate; however, it may not include all sections included in the Regulatory Commission of Alaskas model utility ordinance. Efforts to amend the current ordinance using the RCA model that began over a year ago remain unfinished. The manager reported that the collection policy is enforced with a collection rate of 85% and that there are currently fourteen customers that are disconnected for non-payment. The organizational chart for the City was posted and a copy provided to RUBA. Utility staff members have levels of experience and training that are adequate for their positions.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
Yes The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing sanitation facilities.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No The manager receives a monthly O&M report from the utility operator and routinely "spot checks" the facilities to see that the maintenance items are being completed.
No The utility has a safety manual and holds safety meetings.
Yes Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
Yes The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed.
Yes The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
Yes The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
No The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The 'City of Emmonak Water and Sewer System Operational Routine' is a detailed list of daily, monthly, and annual operational and preventative maintenance tasks. According to the DEC operator database, the primary utility operator is currently certified at the OIT level for water treatment, level 2 for water distribution and level 1 for wastewater. The secondary operator is OIT certified for water treatment. The utility manager indicated that he does not receive monthly reports from the operators, but is informed of operational issues when they arise. The utility is listed on the Significant Non-Compliance list for Surface Water and Stage 1 violations.