Quarterly Report: 2010, July - September (Q1), 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:
11/6/2009 
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 septic 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:
The city clerk resigned her position for personal reasons. Nome RUBA staff was setting up a training schedule at the request of the mayor. The on-going sanitation project may be placed on hold since the project was not allowed to use the city's heavy equipment. The mayor has said the heavy equipment were purchased using legislative grants and should only be used for specific purposes. RUBA staff has encouraged the mayor and city council to work with VSW and allow them to use the heavy equipment for the sanitation project. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff will make at least two trips to the community to update the RUBA assessment and a follow up.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
22 of 27
Total Score:
49 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.
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 council acting as the utility board passed its FY '10 budget in a timely manner, which includes the budget for its trash/honeybucket haul and washeteria. The both utilities operate at a loss mainly due to small community population, expensive utilities (electricity and fuel oil) and remoteness of the community. The city subsidizes both of the utilities using sales tax, gaming proceeds. The city purchased fuel oil using funds from Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation and stores it in a fuel tank shared with the local tribal 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
No 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 city keeps financial records manually. The city bills utility customers regularly even though the collection rate is low. RUBA staff has recommended to the mayor to continue to do this even if some of the customers don't pay.

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 of Wales is in compliance with all employment tax obligations. The current mayor worked hard to pay off all the debts owed by the city, including past due tax liabilities.

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
RUBA staff is working with the city council and mayor on updating the city's personnel policies. The last update was about seven years ago. The city clerk was in the process of being trained but quit before the training could be provided. The city also had been invited to a Quickbooks Pro training in Anchorage, but did not respond to the invitation.

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 regularly meets and includes both the utilities in its agenda. There will be four vacant council seats open this coming municipal election. City council meeting notices are posted and open to the public. At least two council seats were vacated through resignations.

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".
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
As with other city positions, the city has difficulty retaining trained utility operators. The city has limited funds, but wages are commensurate with the region's wages for utility operators. The city is currently on th SNC list for Stage 1 violations.