Quarterly Report: 2012, January - March (Q3), Wales

Community:
Wales 
Staff:
Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Wales 
Population:
136  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/1/2012 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Two new groundwater wells have been drilled and a pumphouse and watering point enclosure are needed. Currently, water is derived from Gilbert Creek during the summer, and residents haul treated water from a 500,000-gal. storage tank at the washeteria. Some residents use untreated water from Village Creek. Almost all residents use honeybuckets, and very few homes currently have plumbing. A honey bucket haul system is in place. The school and clinic are served by piped water. There are two wastewater systems - one for the school and a second for teacher's housing, the clinic, and the city building. A master plan to implement a piped system has been completed. There is no permit for the landfill. Village Safe Water is applying for sanitation grants for the community to upgrade the washeteria. The new facility will most likely be a multi-purpose facility to include the washeteria, water plant, and a new clinic. The condemned City dome will probably be torn down and its location used for the new multi-purpose facility. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff provided a sample trash and honey-bucket haul ordinance to the mayor at his request. The city has needed a more detailed trash and honey-bucket haul ordinance to meet part of the essential indicators in the last RUBA Assessment. The ordinance includes a user agreement that customers must sign. The old ordinance is from early '90s. The city council is reviewing it and will pass it within the 1st quarter of 2012. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
*RUBA staff will make at least one trip to provide for the council and interested community members. *RUBA staff will continue to make efforts to train the city clerk with her duties, including financial management for the trash/honeybucket haul and washeteria. *Work with mayor and personnel to have the city pass the seven essential indicators identified in the RUBA Assessment by July, 2012.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
20 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
41 of 53

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.
No 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.
No 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 continues to provide a large subsidy for the trash and honey-bucket haul services. The system continues to be heavily subsidized mostly using funds from Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation's annual Community Benefits Share Program. RUBA has provided the mayor and city staff a sample monthly financial report format in Excel spreadsheet to use and in order to pass part of the essential indicators in the RUBA Assessment. To date, the city has not implemented it.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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 Wales has updated its ordinances to include all services the utility offers. The city does manually bill the customers regularly each month for the trash/honeybucket haul services. All financial record keeping is done manually. The regularity of turn-over of city clerks has kept the city from training them with Quickbooks Pro, an accounting software program that would cut time spent on the utility's financial management. Last year, a city clerk was provided utility management training but she quit her city clerk job and moved out of town.

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 current with all its payroll taxes and quarterly tax reports with IRS and Employment Security Division (ESD). Despite turn-over of city clerks and personnel, the city continues to keep current with its quarterly and annual reports and payment of payroll taxes.

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.
No The utility has adequate written job descriptions for all positions.
No 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
The City of Wales has Workers' Compensation coverage through Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA). The city paid and updated its workers' compensation coverage and is effective through end of July, 2012.

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.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
No 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.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The Wales City Council is the policy making body of the utilities. The council is active in policy making of the utility, but does not consistently enforce the policy they enact. The current city clerk knows basics of bookkeeping, but needs more training with her duties. RUBA staff made efforts to have her trained with QBP, but she was not able to attend the workshop. The mayor is a paid position and makes day-to-day decisions of the utility services.

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.
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".
Yes 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 City of Wales' sanitation project is on hold until the city's collection rate for the trash/honeybucket haul services improve significantly. The current washeteria is very old and in disrepair. The city is having difficulty retaining trash/honeybucket haul employees, even though the positions are paid well. The utility operator, Larry Sereadlook holds a Provisional 1 certification. His certification expires at the end of 2011. The City of Wales has completed the 2010 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The utility is not on the Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list. They maintain an inventory control and critical spare parts list.