RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Selawik


Community:

Selawik

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Margaret Hansen

Agreement:

Yes

DCA Region:

Kotzebue

Agreement Date:

9/30/2011

Region:

Northwest Arctic

Exp Date:

10/1/2014

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Northwest Arctic Borough

Assessment Date:

11/1/2007

Population:

828

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

10/10/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

The community has piped water and wastewater throughout the entire community; 96 percent of the homes are fully plumbed. A circulating water and vacuum wastewater system provides services to the community. A central treatment facility pumps water from the Selawik River, providing up to 8,000 gallons a day. A new boiler and plant have been installed and completed. The city signed an agreement with the Alaska Rural Utilities Collaborative (ARUC). The city continues in the completion of the plant rebuild as well as the energy efficiency projects, which are expected to be completed October 2013.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

The City of Selawik has an energy efficiency upgrades project under construction. Energy efficiency upgrades began last year to address the most critical and vulnerable portions of the system. The remaining upgrades have been under construction this summer. We are in the final phase of testing the constructed infrastructure in preparation to formally commission it. The official start-up will occur in mid-October, in time for the winter season. These upgrades should realize significant savings for the utility, which is operated and maintained under contract with ARUC. The upgrades should also help prevent future system wide freeze ups. The city clerk of Selawik called and faxed over the election ballot to make sure the wording is correct asking to increase the sales tax which Kotzebue staff assisted to reword. The city had been working with an attorney to follow the proper process to bring the sales tax increase to the voters and pass an ordinance to do so. The council decided to increase the sales tax from 5% to 6.5% an 1.5% increase to subsidize the water and wastewater utility. The mayor of Selawik called Kotzebue LGS staff to report the sales tax increase from five percent to six and a half percent was passed by the Selawik voters. The sales tax increase will be used to subsidize the washeteria, watering point, and raise in customer rates, which Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative (ARUC), who manages the water and wastewater utility, plans to implement in October.

 

Capacity Indicator: Finances

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

No

Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.

Comment:

ARUC has adopted a balanced realistic utility budget listing all revenues and expenses for the utility. The council receives monthly financial report showing that all electric bills are paid and that they paid for a year's adequate supply of fuel and that they are receiving revenues to cover operating expenses. The collection rate is 88%. Because ARUC is still trying to make up for the lost last year, they do not have sufficient revenues to cover repair and replacement costs. The city residents passed an increase to their sales tax which will be used to subsidized the monthly water and sewer rate.

 

Capacity Indicator: Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

ARUC works with the city who adopted a collection policy that ARUC enforces on a monthly basis through the water plant personnel. Bills are sumbitted to its customers monthly. ARUC utilizes quickbooks for billing assistance communities and Continental Utility Solutions for community like Selawik for accounts receivable system, payable system, payroll, purchasing, cash receipts and cash disbursements that records incoming money and how it was spent. They use their budget as the chart of accounts reconciling monthly.

 

Capacity Indicator: Tax Problems

Essential Indicators:

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.

Comment:

ARUC is deemed compliant by both IRS and ESC. They are not on the Lien Watch List ending July 2013.

 

Capacity Indicator: Personnel System

Essential Indicators:

Yes

The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.

Sustainable Indicators:

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.

Comment:

The city obtains their insurance through AMLJIA and has indicated that the city had a credit amount towards the renewal of insurance. ARUC has purchased new insurance as well through October 2014. Personnel policies have been adopted and legally reviewed. ARUC not only includes orientation, job training and evaulation of staff but continues to provide training opportunities to staff as needed and available.

 

Capacity Indicator: Organizational Management

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The city has the necessary ordinances to give it authority and is the known entity to operate the utility. The city has a signed Memorandum of Agreement for utility management to be provided by ARUC. The city has an organizational chart that reflects the current structure. The city council complies with the Open Meetings Act. ARUC is active in making sure the council follows and enforces their utility policy.

 

Capacity Indicator: Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

They have an operator who is certified for water treatment and water distribution 1.The utility is no longer on the SNC list. The utility has a preventative maintenance plan. It is operating at the level of service proposed, holding safety meetings following their safety manual and spot checking the facilies to make sure maintenance items are being completed. They have completed their consumer confidence report. The utility maintains an inventory and critical spare parts list.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

LGS Staff will travel to Selawik in the next quarter to provide financial management training and assistance to the new administrator and training to the council on roles and responsibilities.