Quarterly Report: 2011, January - March (Q3), Teller

Iura Leahu  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Teller 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Teller does not have a piped water/wastewater utility. During the summer, water is piped in from Coyote Creek, a couple of miles east of the school. The water is treated and stored in a large storage tank. In the winter, treated water is delivered from the large storage tank at the washeteria, or residents use melted ice from area creeks. A few residents use their own ATV's or snowmachines to haul water. The school operates its own sewer system. Sixty-seven residents and 15 businesses use honeybuckets, which are hauled by the City. A few homes and facilities have septic tanks.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The Village Safe Water (VSW) project engineer provided the city a draft sanitation master plan for a planned future project. The Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) has been holding community meetings in Brevig Mission and Teller regarding a possible interie. AVEC has not yet decided where the electic power plant will be located, and is proposing that a powerline be above ground in the Grantly Harbor channel. The channel has a very strong year-round current. Public meetings and hearing continue to be held to explore the options. The city now has general liability insurance through Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA). RUBA staff has been working with the city for at leasst two years to obtain this covereage. The coverage started January 2011. This fiscal year, the city's actual revenues for the Honeybucket/Trash haul services are at least $30,000 and expenditures were $55,662.00. The revenues for the washeteria is about $18,000 and expenditures of $42,832.00. The sanitation expenses are subsidized using funds from Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation's Community Benefits Share Program. Each year, the member cities in the Norton Sound region receive $100,000. The participating cities have to provide detailed budgets to NSEDC before the funds are released. But the cities can amend the NSEDC budget whenever they want to or need to during the fiscal year, which most do. The funds are usually used to pay for fuel oil and/or workers' compensation and general liability coverage. The City of Teller uses some of the funds to budget for the honeybucket and trash haul expenses as the city council feels subsidizing the sanitation services are important to the health and welfare of the community. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will work with the city on the following issues: *Start billing trash/honey-bucket service customers on a regular monthly basis, preferably using QBP. *Travel to the community to introduce the new RUBA, Iura Leahu. *Work with RUBA staff and city to draft workplan for the city.
Essential Indicators:
16 of 24
Sustainable Indicators:
19 of 24
Total Score:
35 of 48


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.
No 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
Answer Question
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.
Finances Comments
RUBA staff has not received any monthly financial reports from the city lately. This is due to the fact that the city clerk was on medical leave and just came back to work recently. NSEDC is working with Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) to purchase several 11,000 gallon diesel fuel tanks to donate to the local fuel sales dealership, Teller Native Corporation. For the least few years, the community has been running out of fuel around March or April. NSEDC is trying to determine if the fuel tanks are salvageable for re-use by the corporation. The city purchases its fuel exclusively from the Corporation as needed at least once a month. The washeteria building, where water is treated, is run by the local school.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
No 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 does not bill customers for trash and honey-bucket haul services. The city clerk attended a RUBA-sponsored Quickbooks Pro training in Nome and successfully completed it. She has said she is starting to implement most or all of what she has learned in the class.

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.
No The utility is current on making tax deposits.
No 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 is current with its tax reports and payments. The city clerk was able to go through the process of making electronic payments using IRS' new implemenation requirements before the deadline imposed by IRS.

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 purchased workers' compensation coverage through Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA). The city attended the Quickbooks Pro training class in Nome.

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.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
N/A 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 Teller City Council voted in a new mayor, Joseph Garnie after the successfully held municipal election in October, 2010. The city council acts as the policy making body and places sanitation issues in the regular monthly city council meetings.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
N/A The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing sanitation facilities.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
N/A 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.
N/A The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
N/A 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 city operates a washeteria that is attached to the water plant maintained and operated by the local school. The washeteria employs two part-time washeteria attendants.