Quarterly Report: 2014, January - March (Q3), Elim

Community:
Elim 
Staff:
Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
Nome regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
Yes 
Agreement Date:
8/12/2008 
Entity:
City of Elim 
Population:
352 2013 Department of Labor Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
9/12/2007 
Exp Date:
8/12/2010 
Last Updated:
4/3/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well and is treated. Water and wastewater systems built by BIA in 1974, along with housing provided by BIA and HUD, have provided residents with piped water and wastewater, indoor water heaters and plumbing and in-home washers and dryers. Waste flows out to a wastewater treatment plant with ocean outfall. The landfill is not permitted. The city needs a new water source, since water shortages occur and cracked PVC pipes need to be replaced. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
This quarter RUBA staff continued to work with the city clerk and city council on the municipal election issues; the city council is the governing board of the water and waste water utility. RUBA staff recommended that the city council should officially declare seat vacant and make an appointment to the seat with a qualified and interested voter. Also during the quarter, the city clerk resigned to pursue higher education and the city council asked for assistance with reviewing and updating the city clerk's job description and to review the job interview procedures. At their request, RUBA staff traveled to the community to work with the council to make sure job interview procedures were followed. After the procedures were reviewed, the council was able to review fifteen job applications for the position and pared them down to four applications. The city council interviewed the qualified applicants and made selection on the most qualified and experienced applicant. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff plans to make at least two trips to provide city council training and continue work on updating and reformatting the code of ordinances, including updating the water and waste-water ordinance. RUBA staff will work with the City Council to determine whether or not to to raise residential customers' water and waste-water rates. The department has been operating at a loss for the past couple of years. RUBA staff will also work with the City Bookkeeper to review the past due accounts from the customers and take legal action through the small claims court.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
25 of 27
Total Score:
50 of 53

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No 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.
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.
Finances Comments
The Water and Waste-water Department averages over $7,800 a month in revenues and expenditures of $10,700. The deficit is at least 2,900 a month. The expected annual deficit will be about $34,800. The City is currently subsidizing the department from sales tax and funds from Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation. The expected revenues according to the FY '14 Budget is about $90,000 and expenditures of $114,580. The revenue goals will be met, but the expenditures will be about $128,400. The City Council has stated that it wants to pursue past dues with small claims court. The City is current with monthly financial reports. The City Bookkeeper is now using a monthly financial report that RUBA recommended to the City Council to use. The City budgeted $16,000 for electricity consumption, but is expecting to use at least $11,300 for the year. The City's fuel use will be adequate for the year until the next fuel delivery this coming summer, 2014.

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 utility has a comprehensive collection policy and actively follows it. The utility bills customers on a regular basis using QuickBooks. An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts. An accounts payable system is in place. The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records. A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent. The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent. The permanent city bookkeeper is on extended medical leave but is consulted with for any financial questions. The city bookkeeper uses QuickBooks for billing, payroll and payroll taxes, tax reports and monthly financial report preparations. The City is expecting to take past due customers to small claims court. The past dues total about $15,000, some of it from this year.

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.
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.
Tax Problems Comments
The city has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities. The city is current on filing ESC and 941 quarterly tax reports. The city is current on making tax deposits. The city does not have any past due tax liabilities. The city bookkeeper uses and is familiar with QuickBooks for use for all tax reports. The city subscribes to the monthly payroll updates with Intuit. Under IRS rules, the City is a once-a-month depositor. The City completed the W-2s and W-3T in a timely manner and submitted the forms to all its employees and copies to Social Security Administration in a timely manner.

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). As required by State law, the city has a posted workers' compensation policy. The policy is in effect from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014. The utility has adopted and uses a personnel policy. The utility has adequate written job descriptions for all positions. The utility has adopted and follows a written personnel evaluation process that ties the job description to the evaluation. The utility has an adequate written hiring process, and has personnel folders on every employee that contain at least a completed I-9 form, job application and letter of acceptance. The utility has a probationary period for new hires. Orientation and evaluations are conducted. The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available. The city council recently revised its personnel policies to change the pay period from bi-weekly to weekly payday to attempt to deal with and control the payroll advances. The city council has been sending some of its employees to RUBA sponsored training classes and those that attend have excelled in the classes.

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 is the policy making body of the water and wastewater department. Water and wastewater issues are included as an agenda item in its regular monthly reports. All the water and wastewater employees are adequately trained and able employees. In the absence of the mayor, the vice-mayor comes in daily to actively make day-to-day decisions affecting the water and wastewater department's issues. The water and wastewater ordinance is being revised, but will essentially remain the same. The new City Clerk acts as a utility manager and is experienced with the finances of the City, including the Water and Waste-water department.

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 operators are certified to the level of water and wastewater service for the city. The operators work closely with the area Remote Maintenance Worker on operational issues. The employees attend the telephonic safety meetings sponsored by the city's workers' compensation provider. The operators work closely with the supervisor as needed and order supplies and equipment to efficiently operate the utility system. The city is not on the SNC list. The utilty maintains an inventory control list and a critical spare parts list.