Quarterly Report: 2010, October - December (Q2), Shungnak

Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Shungnak 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Shungnak operates the piped water and sewer system. The City Council is the policy making board for the utility. The water infiltration gallery was destroyed by ice several years ago, and needs replacement. A reservoir is intermitently filled from the Kobuk River. A portable pump fills a 200,000-gallon steel storage tank through 1,110' of buried arctic pipe. Currently, the City has a new 200,000 gallon tank connected to the new water treatment plant. Groundwater wells have proven unsuccessful; however, they are still drilling to find a new groundwater source. Piped water and sewer services are provided to 53 homes (those at the top of the bluff), clinic, school, and community building. Shungnak has a six-inch buried gravity sewage main, which drains into a small, diked lake one-half mile northwest of the city. The sewer main, lift station, and manholes have been replaced last summer. The effluent is chlorinated before discharge. The City worked with the local IRA to complete the fencing around the landfill. The city purchased the fence and the IRA paid workers to install it. ANTHC found funds to complete the new sewage lagoon last summer. The new water tank and treatment plant projects are completed. The City Administrator would like to have a new master plan completed.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The administrator attended the grant writing workshop held in Kotzebue in October. RUBA staff provided phone and fax assistance on financial reporting and discussed the legislative grant for dumpsite relocation. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will continue to review documentation submitted by the administrator to monitor their progress.
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
25 of 27
Total Score:
51 of 53


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
No 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 has adopted a realistic budget that covers all revenues and expenses of the utility that she reports to council on a monthly basis showing that the utility is receiving user fees sufficient for operating expenses. She has had the council adopt an budget amendment last year when they raised their water and sewer rates. Although she does not have a savings account for repair and replacement costs, she has budgeted for any unknown emergencies. Year to date revenues and expenditures are equal to those budgeted which she reports to the council in her monthly report.

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 still follows their adopted collection policy and actively follows it billing the customer monthly. She still manually records all cash receipts, cash disbursements and payroll onto the Northwest Arctic Borough Accounting system ledgers. She provides to the council an update from customer leders for accounts receivable and receivables. Using her budget as the chart of accounts, she utilizes the budget, recent monthly financial report and any outstanding purchase orders before purchases are approved and paid.

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
Using her payroll timesheets, payroll journal and tax deposit worksheets, she can then accurately calculate, track and pay tax liabilities in order to make tax deposits on time and report those taxes timely. There are no tax liabilities at this time.

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
Although the cities posted workmen's compensation policy is still in effect until the end of February, she is working with her insurance for a renewal. The city utilizes their attorny reviewed personnel policies, that they adopted which ties the adequate job descriptions to the evaluation at year end and for probationary employees. They follow a written hiring process that includes job orientation, training makes sure their file folder includes I-9, job application and letter of acceptance. The administrator provides training opportunites to staff as needed.

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 owns the utility adopting rules and regulations for authority being very active with policy meeting monthly and complying with the open meetings act. The administrator is the manager and bookkeeper as well who has a certified operator on board.

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.
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.
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 operator is certified for water distribution P and Water Treatment 1 and is planning to attend the training in Kotzebue end of January. He follows the preventative maintenance plan and reports to the Administrator and council monthly so had not suffered any problems so far. They are opperating at the level proposed maintaining an inventory and critical spare parts list. She has completed their CCR and is not the SNC list but has not held any safety meetings as yet.