Quarterly Report: 2009, July - September (Q1), White Mountain

Community:
White Mountain 
Staff:
 
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of White Mountain 
Population:
215  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
11/17/2008 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well near the Fish River and is treated. All households and factilities are connected to the piped water and sewer system. The school was completely destroyed in a fire and the new school is under construction and will also be connected to the cities water sewer system. The City has also requested funding to relocate the landfill, the current site is not permitted. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Nome and Anchorage staff travelled to White Mountain on May 6, 2008 to provide Elected Officials training and conducted a RUBA Assessment of the Sanitation utility. The City of White Mountain does not meet all essential and sustainable indicators at this time. At the request of City Clerk, Amy Titus, Nome RUBA staff assisted with the identification of economic development projects that would qualify under the Denali Commission request for proposals (RFP). After a review of the RFP and the Community's Local Economic Development Plan, relevant projects were suggested based on the top ten priorities. These included a gravel source development and community shop for maintenance and repair of equipment. Assistance and advice was provided with the interpretation of the City's ordinance chapter that deals with the vacancy of a council seat. Amy successfully completed a 32-hour RUBA sponsored Personnel Management workshop in Nome the last week of February. Out of eight students, Amy received the most improved test scores.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
At the request of the Council, Nome RUBA staff will travel to White Mountain this quarter to provide assistance to City staff. RUBA staff will continue to provide technical assistance to the city staff upon request.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
27 of 27
Total Score:
54 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.
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.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The City of White Mountain adopted a FY 08 Budget appropriations ordinance on June 19, 2007. The water and sewer expenditure budget is projected to be $87,022 in 2008. The cost of electricity and Fuel make up approximately $40,000, or half of the expenditure budget. Projected 2008 revenue for the utility is $91,248. This leaves a projected profit of $4,226. According to the March 2008 monthly financial report, year-to-date the water and sewer utility has spent $50,516 and brought in $67,687. With a $17,170 net profit, the City can sufficiently cover repair and replacement costs. The utility manager uses an Excel spreadsheet format for its monthly financial reports, which is converted from QuickBooks Pro. In addition to the financials, a narrative report is prepared. The residential and commercial customer rate is $75 a month. There are currently 63 residential and 18 commercial customers. The school district is charged $9,375 a quarter or $37,500 a year. For the winter heating oil supply, the utility purchased 90,000 gallons at $2.82 from Norton Sound Bulk Fuel program.

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 City Council and utility management are committed to enforcing the utilitys collection policy and their efforts have paid off. Out of 63 customers only two are delinquent with monthly payments and the city has active small claims with both. In the past, the utility had difficulty collecting past due accounts from customers who have moved away. For 2009, the Utility plans on pursuing the individuals permanent fund dividend (PFD). The utility uses QuickBooks Pro 2006 version and may need to update to 2008 version. The utility subscribes to a local Internet service provider and can update through the Internet. QuickBooks is utilized for just about every aspect of utility accounting. A NEBS system is used for cash receipts and petty cash receipts are kept separate for cash disbursements. Water and sewer monthly bills are combined with the electric utility and cable television. Bills are sent out on the 1st day of the month and are due on the last day of the month.

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 utility has a separate Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the City. At the time of this report, the Internal Revenue Service has deemed the White Mountain Utility compliant with reporting requirements. However, the past year the Utility had been making quarterly, not monthly deposits which they have been penalized. Once this was discovered by RUBA staff and the Utility Manager, a check was written to cover the total amount and staff is aware of the necessity to keep in compliance. According to the Department of Labor, as of 9/18/2008, the Utility is current on State Unemployment Security Tax depositing and reporting.

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 Utility has insurance and workers compensation coverage with the Alaska Municipal League, Joint Insurance Association (AML-JIA) and is in good standing. The utility sends AML-JIA a lump sum payment for the annual coverage. The required Employers Notice of Insurance is posted at the White Mountain Utilities office. The coverage is from July 1, 2007 through July 1, 2008.

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 acts as the utility board and utility business is addressed on the regular council meeting agenda. The city council is very active with policy-making decisions of the utilities it owns and operates. The Utility Manager and City Clerk have attended various Utility Management Training workshops over the last few years. The city has utility ordinances that cover the city-run utilities, including cable TV, electricity, water and sewer. Chapter 35-Water and Sewer Utility ordinance outlines the rules and regulations of the utility. An organizational chart was located in the City of White Mountain Business plan for sanitary upgrades.

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
Utility Operator Ed Titus is certified in Water Distribution and Water Treatment at the Operator in Training (OIT) level. Eds certification will expire on 12/31/08 so efforts should be made to get training before expiration. Utility Operator Curtis Williams is certified in Water Distribution/Treatment and Wastewater Treatment and Collection at the OIT level. The utility also has an alternate water and sewer operator that will need training. Since the system is rated at a Level 1, all operators should be working toward the equivalent level of certification. Chapter 6-Preventative Maintenance of the Operation and Maintenance (O/M) handbook covers maintenance procedures. The preventative maintenance program includes a list of jobs that need to be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Chapter 7 of the O/M handbook covers the safety program. The utility operator gives verbal reports to the utility manager and/or the Mayor on a regular basis.