Quarterly Report: 2008, October - December (Q2), New Stuyahok

Community:
New Stuyahok 
Staff:
Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of New Stuyahok 
Population:
461  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
1/24/2008 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well and is treated. The majority of the community (roughly 94 homes), facilities and the school are connected to a piped water and sewer system installed in 1971 and have complete plumbing. Some residents use individual wells and septic tanks; roughly six homes are without complete plumbing. Electricity is provided by AVEC. The city coordinates landfill management with the village council. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA maintained contact with city officials as they worked to maintain satisfactory RUBA Assessment of Management indicators, a special sanitation grant condition. RUBA assisted the city administrator with various management tasks primarily assembly of monthly financial reports. RUBA continues providing advice and recommendations concerning water-sewer budget improvements. The present water-sewer budget does not list certain critical items but is expected to be amended in January 2008. Water/sewer customer fee collections are stable but can improve overall. The mayor continues making efforts to strengthen water-sewer collections and staff continue to send notices of disconnection to non-paying customers. Ten HUD homes are near completion and are reportedly going to be connected, at least temporarily, to a private septic system installed by the regional housing authoriity until the public wastewater system can allow additional connections. The community and entities involved in local infrastructure development including a school construction contractor continues to express desire for timely completion of sewage lagoon renovation by fall 2008. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will maintain contact with the city, offer ongoing assistance upon request, and plan travel to the community in the coming quarter. City staff continue to express interest in updating the existing RUBA Agreement and associated RUBA Workplan to facilitate utility sustainability.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
24 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
45 of 53

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No 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
Yes 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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city indicated plans to amend the existing FY 2008 water/sewer budget by January 2008 to add additional pertinent expenses. City financial reports indicate November 2007 and year-to-date utility revenues are exceeding expenses. Reported monthly water/sewer collections have been as high as $11,000. The utility is current on electric bills. Fuel supplies remain sufficient. The water operator presents monthly reports to the council.

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.
No 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 mayor continues directing staff to strictly enforce the water/sewer ordinance with respect to monthly fee collections. Strong collections in recent months indicate success with water-sewer collections efforts. The utility bills consistently in coordination with a billing service provided by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. RUBA continues to recommend reconilication of bank accounts and monthly ANTHC billing reports. RUBA also suggests improved filing and recordkeeping to facilitate accurate bookkeeping.

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.
N/A 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
The city is presently in compliance with federal tax obligations according to IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service correspondence dated January 16, 2008.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted and uses a Personnel Policy, which has been reviewed by an attorney, AML or Commerce for topics and language.
No 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.
No 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
On January 16, 2008 city staff provided RUBA a copy of the city's employer's notice of insurance showing coverage through AMLJIA for a one-year period ending July 1, 2008. City staff continues reviewing personnel policy and administrative procedure samples provided by RUBA.

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
No 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 operates the utility under the authority of a city ordinance. The utility operates under a Provisional Certificate granted by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. The city administrator and city clerk, both trained and experienced, handle accounting and recordkeeping primarily with QuickBooks accounting software. A certified water operator oversees utility operations. RUBA strongly recommends the city identify and train at least one alternate water operator.

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
Yes 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.
Yes 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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The Water Operator is certified at the OIT level for water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment. The utility encounters minor system outages. Utility staff maintain a preventative maintenance plan and maintains contact with Remote Maintenance Worker and ANTHC engineers. City officials continue to monitor the wastewater system and are coordinating efforts with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to address short and long-term solutions to sewage lagoon repair. RUBA continues to recommend consistent safety meetings and suggests formation of a safety committee. The utility published its Consumer Confidence Report timely.