Quarterly Report: 2007, April - June (Q4), 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:
8/6/2007 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well and is treated. The majority of the community (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; six homes are without complete plumbing. Electricity is provided by AVEC. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA provided on-site assistance to the Mayor and City staff with RUBA assessment indicators April 11-12, 2007. RUBA traveled to the community again in late June with the Division of Community Advocacy Regional Manager to provide on-site assistance and recommendations. Late in the quarter, with support from RUBA, the Mayor, Water/Sewer Utility Manager, and City Administrator worked to resolve deficient RUBA management indicators associated with sanitation grant conditions. The City improved water/sewer collections and informed RUBA that IRS debt owed from a prior quarter has been paid. Late in the quarter, the Administrator assembled a monthly financial report with assistance from RUBA. To address shortcomings in the City's FY 2008 budget, adopted May 8, the Administrator is considering proposing an amendment to the water/sewer budget to ensure it will present pertinent revenue and expenditures. Also of note, according to a state Department of Environmental Conservation Significant Non-complier list dated May 5, 2007, the city failed to conduct monitoring for nitrate but can return to compliance upon completion of required sampling. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA recommends the City strive to maintain compliance with RUBA essential indicators. RUBA will maintain contact and provide ongoing assistance upon request.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
20 of 27
Total Score:
47 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
On April 11, 2007 the City Council adopted an amended, realistic water/sewer budget that lists all pertinent revenues and expenses. Utility revenues in April and May 2007 exceeded expenses. Water/sewer collections improved after the City began enforcement of its collections policy. The utility is current on electric bills. Fuel supplies purchased in late 2006 with funding from the State are sufficient. RUBA recommends the City set aside funds, as budgeted, for utility repair and replacement costs. A monthly manager's report is presented at the City Council verbally.

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 directed staff to more strictly enforce the City's water/sewer ordinance which includes a collections policy. Based on monthly financial reports provided by the City, collections and revenues improved during the quarter. The utility bills consistently via a billing service provided by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. City staff continue to improve their data entry related to accounts receivable, accounts payable, and cash disbursement. RUBA recommends the FY 2007 budget be entered into QuickBooks to facilitate year-to-date tracking. City staff plan to seek further QuickBooks training. RUBA recommends bank accounts as well as the ANTHC billing reports be reconciled monthly. City staff should continue improving 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.
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 is presently in compliance with tax obligations according to correspondence with the IRS dated June 20, 2007. The City informed RUBA that IRS debt related to a quarter in 2006 has been paid.

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
The City has posted a workers' compensation insurance policy that states coverage is valid through July 1, 2007. 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 guidance and authority of a city ordinance. The City improved enforcement of the utility's collections policies during the quarter. The Regulatory Commission of Alaska granted a Provisional Certificate for the water and sewer utility in recent quarters. The City Administrator and City Clerk handle accounting and recordkeeping. The Utility Manager, a certified water operator, has returned to the water operator role with reduced administrative responsibilities. RUBA recommends the City recruit at least one backup water operator. The City Administrator participated in a RUBA-sponsored QuickBooks training early in the quarter.

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 staff. The Utility Manager also serves as a City Council member. The City's sewage lagoon is reportedly failing. 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. RUBA recommended more consistent safety meetings and suggests formation of a safety committee. The water operator plans to install customer curb boxes to facilitate disconnection when customers fail to pay for service.