Quarterly Report: 2011, July - September (Q1), Shishmaref

Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Shishmaref 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Shishmaref operates a central watering point, a water truck delivery service, multiple watering points, a washeteria, and a honey bucket service. The city council is the policy making body for the utility. Water is derived from a surface source; it is treated and stored in a new tank. Shishmaref is undergoing major improvements, with the construction of a flush/haul system and household plumbing. No homes have piped water at this time. Many residents continue to haul their own water. The City hauls honey buckets and services the new flush tanks. Flush systems are functional in 17 residential homes. The school, clinic, city hall and fire hall are connected to a sewage lagoon.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The city clerk acts as the supervisor of all the city employees, including the utility operators. The city clerk's hours were cut back to four hours a day to accomodate a new grant writer position, but the city council decided it would be better to retain the original hours of seven hours a day for the clerk to keep up with supervision of the city employees. RUBA staff had recommended that the city clerk should retain her original work hours to keep up with departmental issues because federal and State grants are now less available and harder to get. The City of Shishmaref signed a RUBA assistance agreement in May 2010. RUBA staff assigned to Shishmaref resigned shortly after the agreement was signed and the vacancy resulted in RUBA neing unable to make the quarterly onsite visit for assistance. After an extended recruitment process, RUBA has filled the position and onsite assistance will resume in January 2011. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff will make at least one trip to the city to work with the city council and city staff to meet the essential and sustainable indicators identified in the quarterly RUBA report.
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
44 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
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.
Finances Comments
The city bookkeeper continues to make excellent, comprehensive and complete monthly financial reports. The city made a balanced and realistic budget for FY11, including the utility department. The bookkeeper uses Excel Spreadsheet format to make the monthly financial reports.

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 bookkeeper is familiar with and uses Quickbooks Pro for the city's finances. The QuickBooks Pro monthly financial reports are converted to Excel Spreadsheet format with ease which makes them much easier for council memebers to read and understand.

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 uses Quickbooks Pro to make tax deposits immediately after payroll is completed. All quarterly tax reports are done timely. Tax reports and records are done using Quickbooks Pro.

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.
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.
Personnel System Comments
The city is current with general liability and workers' compensation coverage. Alaska Municipal League-Joint Insurance Association provides workers' compensation coverage. The city posts workers' compensation coverage currently in effect.

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
No 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 is active with the utility issues. This coming municipal election on the first Tuesday of October, there will be two city council seats vacancies. The mayor resigned his mayorship but retained his city council seat. Karla Nayokpuk took over as mayor and is very active with utility issues.

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
No 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.
No The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
No 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.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility operators are working towards obtaining the necessary certification to adequately operate at the necessary level of the utility system. The utility still does not hold safety meetings or have a formal safety manual. The utility has not completed the annual CCR for 2009. The utility is currently on the SNC list for stage 1 violations. The utility has not missed a monthly sample in the past twelve months but the system still exceeds the TTHM RAA MCL.