Quarterly Report: 2012, July - September (Q1), Elim

Community:
Elim 
Staff:
Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Elim 
Population:
309  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
10/26/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well and is treated. BIA and HUD housing, and water and sewer systems built by PHS in 1974, have provided residents with piped water and sewer, indoor water heaters and plumbing and in-home washers and dryers. Waste flows out to a sewage treatment plant with ocean outfall. The landfill is not permitted. The City needs a new water source, since water shortages occur and to replace cracked PVC pipes. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On August 23, at the request of Mayor Kotongan, Nome RUBA staff traveled to the City of Elim to conduct a RUBA assessment. While onsite, RUBA staff reviewed the city's financial status and trained the new city clerk in municipal election procedure. The city bookkeeper has been on an extended medical leave; the council hired a temporary bookkeeper. RUBA staff worked with the bookkeeper to compile a list of debts owed to various vendors and arrange a payment schedule. The bookkeeper stated the city has completely paid off the winter fuel order, the city's insurance, and workers' compensation coverage. Time was also spent with the new city clerk to prepare for the upcoming municipal election, using a sample timeline and Elim's election ordinances.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will work with the City of Elim to update its code of ordinances, including the water and sewer ordinance.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
27 of 27
Total Score:
54 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
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 of Elim water and wastewater department has 70 residential customers and approximately seven commercial customers. The city charges Bering Strait School District (BSSD) $0.14 a gallon for treated water. The city's revenue for the last fiscal year was $130,400 and the total expenditures were about $102,000. The city bookkeeper creates and provides monthly budget vs. actual financial statements to the council. The Fiscal Year 2012 budget was drafted and passed June 15. The water and wastewater revenues and expenditures are included in the budget. The city is current with electricity bills, including the water and wastewater department. The city ordered 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel in early spring; the fuel was delivered late August, 2011. The fuel is sufficient for a year.

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 has a comprehensive water and wastewater ordinance, which includes collections. The system is one of the oldest water and wastewater systems in the Nome region. Utility bills are sent on a regular monthly basis. The city bookkeeper also acts as the utility clerk and uses Intuit's Quickbooks Pro extensively for billing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll records and reports, cash receipts and cash disbursement.

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
The city uses QuickBooks for payroll records, filing federal and state tax reports. The city downloads federal Form 941 and state ESC quarterly tax reports to complete the reports. The city missed a 941 report and was late filing it along with a payment. However, the temporary bookkeeper completed it and submitted electronic payment. The city is now current with reports and payments. The city expects a small penalty for filing late and will pay it upon notification. The IRS and Department of Labor have deemed the city compliant at this time.

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
The city has a current general liability and workers' compensation coverage through Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA). The city has an updated and comprehensive personnel policy that includes hiring policy and a written personnel evaluation process that ties the job description to the evaluation. The utility provides training opportunities to staff as they become available.

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 council acts as a policy making body for the water and wastewater department. The city council strictly follows the water and wastewater policies and customers who are behind with the utility bills at least two months are disconnected as set by ordinance. The city also can set up payment plans for those who have delinquent accounts. The city clerk acts as the utility manager and manages all city employees, including the city bookkeeper (who acts as the utility clerk). The city bookkeeper has successfully attended RUBA-sponsored QuickBooks Pro and Financial Management for Utilities training. The water and wastewater operators have successfully attended Norton Sound Health Corporations Remote-Maintenance Worker trainings as well. The city council has regular meetings once a month and has water and wastewater issues on its agenda for discussions and decisions. The notices for city council meetings are posted, along with a draft agenda at least five days before the meetings. The city invites the public to participate in the meetings.

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".
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 water and wastewater operators continue to receive training from NSHC-Office of Environmental Health's Remote Maintenance Worker as needed. RUBA staff has recommended to the mayor to have all city employees attend an AML-JIA sponsored safety teleconferences held monthly. The mayor's reaction has been positive and has talked with the city clerk, who supervises city employees. As of July, 2011, the city is not on the Significant Non-Compliance list. The city has completed its 2010 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) with the assistance of Nome-based Norton Sound Health Corporation, Office of Environmental Health. The city has an inventory control list and a critical spare parts list created during an Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium sanitation project.