RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Shageluk


Community:

Shageluk

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Fred Broerman

Agreement:

Yes

DCA Region:

Anchorage

Agreement Date:

7/27/2007

Region:

Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta

Exp Date:

7/27/2009

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Unorganized

Assessment Date:

12/9/2013

Population:

83

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

12/9/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

Shageluk has about forty homes, all of which use honeybuckets and pit privies to dispose their waste. Residents haul water from the community's single watering point at the washeteria/water treatment plant. There is no charge for the water. The washeteria/water plant was built around 1994 and is owned and operated by the city. Ten HUD houses constructed in 1991 have flush and haul wastewater capabilities but the city's waste hauling apparatus is not operational. The community's post office, clinic, city building, and washeteria have piped water and wastewater. The school is also connected to the city's wastewater lines but has its own well; but the water from the well can only be used for washing and cleaning. Drinking water is hauled daily to the school from the water treatment plant. The community's electric utility is Alaska Village Electric Cooperative. Zho-Tse Inc, the tribal corporation, is the community's fuel vendor. Fuel is delivered via barge by Ruby Marine. The city operates and maintains the community's landfill. A July 2, 2013 phone conversation with Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium's engineer assigned to Shageluk indicated the city is being considered for construction funding from USDA Rural Development (RD, $3.73 million) and Village Safe Water (VSW, $1.24 million) to provide water and wastewater service for residents on Hamilton Street. The Project AN-13-T53 was set aside as FY13 funding, with construction scheduled to start in the summer of 2014. However, the release of construction funds depends on the city being RUBA compliant.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

Bethel office RUBA and Turnagain Press (RUBA contracted QuickBooks consultants) staff visited the Shageluk's city office from October 14-17, 2013. During the visit RUBA and Turnagain staffs worked with the city's administrator and clerk on resolving payroll tax problems, drafting a FY14 budget amendment, bringing QuickBooks entries up to date for the fiscal year, reconciling bank statements and creating a mult-month financial statement that city staff could provide to council members at their monthly meetings to help them track city finances. After the October visit Bethel RUBA staff continued to work with city staff to gather documents needed for writing up a RUBA assessment which was finalized on December 9, 2013.

 

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.

No

The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources) sufficient to cover operating expenses.

Sustainable Indicators:

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.

No

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.

Comment:

A copy of a FY14 Budget Amendment Ordinance No.13-02 adopted on October 30, 2013 is on file at the Bethel regional office. Minutes for July 31, August 13, September 17, and October 21, 2013 city council meetings were emailed to the Bethel regional office on December 2, 2013. All the minutes mention council members reviewing monthly financial reports. City staff provided monthly financial statements for July, August and September. However, the amounts listed in the FY14 amended budget do not match those on the monthly financial statement. Therefore, monthly financial statements do not accurately track the city finances and cannot be used with any certainty by city council members. The classes (departments, enterprises and grants) and categories (salaries, fuel, electric and office supplies) of the annual budget and monthly financial statement should be nearly identical. Due to the problems with the monthly financial reports one essential indicator and two sustainable indicators of the Finances section are marked 'No'. A November 21, 2013 phone call to Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) indicated all the city's electric accounts were current. On August 20, 2013, a city council member indicated that the city had already received adequate fuel from Ruby Marine for the winter of 2013/2014. A budget line item to cover operating expenses and Repair and Replacement (RR) costs was not included in the city's FY14 Budget Ordinance adopted June 5, 2013 or in the October 20, 2013 FY14 Budget Amendment. Meeting minutes document the city administrator giving reports explaining the city's finances and maintenance reports are given for the washeteria and water plant by the operator.

 

Capacity Indicator: Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators:

Yes

The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.

No

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.

No

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.

No

The utility has a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase, and the approval process compares proposed purchases to budgeted amounts.

Comment:

Sections 2.11-2.14 of Shageluk's Code of Water and Sewer Ordinances, adopted in 2005, address billing and payment, administration and enforcement, and restoration of service for utility customers. The school and the post office are the city's only customers for water and wastewater services. However, invoices or documents verifying that the city bills either customer on a regular basis have not been provided. Therefore, the second essential indicator is marked 'No'. An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts. However, an accounts payable system has not been set up in QuickBooks. A payroll system, cash receipt system, cash disbursement system, chart of accounts and bank account reconciliations for 2013 were either set up or completed by Turnagain Press staff (RUBA contracted QuickBooks consultants) working with city staff during the October 14-17 on-site visit. The city did not provide documents to verify it has a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase required by the last sustainable indicator of this section.

 

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.

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.

Comment:

A November 21, 2013 phone conversation with the Alaska Department of Labor in Anchorage indicated the city is current with its employment security compensation tax payments and reports. A December 4, 2013 phone conversation with an IRS agent in Reno, Nevada indicated that the city is compliant with its federal tax payments and reporting requirements. The city is not listed on the September - October 2013, LIEN WATCH: A Review of Small Community Liens.

 

Capacity Indicator: Personnel System

Essential Indicators:

Yes

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

Sustainable Indicators:

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.

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.

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.

Comment:

A July 2, 2013 phone call to Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association indicated that the city had renewed its workers compensation policy for FY14. A personnel policies and procedures manual is electronically filed at the Bethel RUBA office. However, no documentation has been provided that the manual has been adopted by city council. City staff needs to provide documentation that city council has adopted the personnel manual that is being used. The city has not provided job descriptions for the water plant operator, the janitor, city clerk or the administrator to Bethel RUBA staff. The city did provide a blank personnel evaluation form that ties an employee's performance to his job description. However, it does not match the rating criteria stated in the unadopted personnel policy that has been provided. The city also needs to provide documentation that evaluations of employees are conducted at least annually. The city did not present personnel folders to RUBA staff that contained at least federal I-9 form, job application and letter of acceptance. The unadopted personnel policy that has been provided contains an adequate written hiring process and adequately addresses probationary periods for new employees. The city provides adequate training opportunities to staff. The administrator and clerk attended RUBA sponsored trainings in 2012 and 2013. The city's water plant operator was sent to certification training in Fairbanks, during the week of November 18-22, 2013.

 

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:

City of Shageluk Code of Water and Sewer Ordinances Ordinance #05-02 adopted on November 23, 2005, is on file at the Bethel Regional office. The school and the post office are the city's only customers for water and wastewater services. Documents verifying that the city bills its customers on a regular basis have not been provided. The city administrator was hired on February 20, 2012 and the city clerk on April 6, 2012. The administrator attended QuickBooks training in May of 2012 and the mayor and the administrator attended a RUBA Utility Management training in April of 2012. The city clerk attended a RUBA sponsored Utility Clerk training on September 10-14, 2012 and a RUBA sponsored Financial Class March 18-22, 2013. The city administrator and the clerk attended a RUBA sponsored Personnel Management Class on September 9-13, 2013. The clerk has held clerical and administrative positions with a tribal agency and a regional corporation and has been a resident of the community for some time having graduated from Shageluk's Innoko River High School. Alaska's Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database classifies Shageluk's water treatment plant as 'Small Water System Treated'. The city's current water plant operator is not certified to the level of the water plant. However, the operator attended an Introduction to Small Water Systems certification training in Fairbanks the week of November 18-22, 2013, and according to Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation's remote maintenance worker assigned to Shageluk, the operator is showing initiative to learn the workings of the city's water system. The city has provided the Bethel RUBA office with an organization chart, adopted by city council on September 17, 2013, which reflects its current staff. The city council attempts to meet at least monthly pursuant to Alaska Title 29 and public notification of meetings and the manner in which they are conducted is in accordance with Alaska's Open Meeting Act or otherwise stated in local ordinances.

 

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.

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.

No

The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.

No

The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".

Yes

The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.

No

The utility maintains an inventory control list.

No

The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.

Comment:

Alaska's Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database classifies Shageluk's water treatment plant as 'Small Water System Treated'. The city's current water plant operator is not certified to the level of the water plant. However, the operator attended an Introduction to Small Water Systems certification training in Fairbanks the week of November 18-22, 2013, and according to Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation's remote maintenance worker assigned to Shageluk, the operator is showing initiative to learn the workings of the city's water system. Shageluk's preventative maintenance plan is contained under Chapter 2 (pages 10-24) of the Operations and Maintenance Manual and is on file at the Bethel RUBA office. The city also has a forty-eight page safety policy. However, documentation has not been submitted that verifies regular safety meetings are being held. A copy of the city's 2012 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) is electronically filed at the Bethel RUBA office. However, a certification form signed by a city official indicating the report was distributed and posted in the community has not been provided. The utility is not on the July 2013 Significant Non-Compliance list. Adequate inventory control and critical spare parts lists need to be submitted to the Bethel regional office for RUBA compliance of the last two sustainable indicators of this section.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

Bethel staff will be available to work with the city's administrative staff to update the status of their RUBA indicators.