Quarterly Report: 2010, July - September (Q1), Teller

Leroy Seppilu  
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 water/sewer utility. Water is hauled from the Gold Run River (20 miles away) by the City water truck, and delivered to home storage tanks, during the summer. In the winter, treated water is delivered from a large storage tank at the washeteria, or melt ice is used 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:
Nome RUBA staff, RUBA Regional Supervisor from Anchorage, Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Village Safe Water Engineer from Anchorage and her supervisor held a public meeting in Teller early August to discuss the w/s utility feasibility study and the requirements to be met by the city council in order the the project to continue. VSW and RUBA staff made several conditions to the city council in order to keep the projec going. VSW's conditions are: 1. City must purchase workers' compensation coverage. 2. The city must contact IRS to arrange a payment plan for past due taxes. 3. The city must hold six consecutive monthly meetings with a quorum present with adequate notices. The notices and minutes of the meeting must be sent to the Nome RUBA staff. There was only one council member present and three new council members were appointed, but not sworn in while the meeting was being held. Nome RUBA staff also traveled to the community in August to provide assistance to meet with city council member, Sarah Okbaok. IRS was contacted and a payment plan was set up for the past due tax liabilities. Two quarterly reports not yet submitted were discussed and a deadline of 60 days was given to the city to make the payments and reports submitted. Assistance was also provided with regular election preparations. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff continues to provide on-site and telephonic assistance. RUBA staff will travel to the community at least three times next quarter to continue providing assistance. RUBA staff will work and train the new council members and city administration staff.
Essential Indicators:
2 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
5 of 27
Total Score:
7 of 54


Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
No Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
No The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
No 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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city still has not submitted its FY10 budget to date. The city has not ordered an adequate amount of fuel oil for the city to use. Last year, the whole community ran out of fuel oil early spring. The fuel oil retailer does not have adequate amount of fuel oil storage facility to last at least a year. A previous fuel retailer sold its fuel tanks to AVEC. NSEDC has promised to provide funds to have the community build a fuel storage facility next summer (2010). The city operates a washeteria and gets its treated water from the local school district for free. The city provides a washeteria attendant to sell tokens to customers. The washeteria operates at least three days a week and is open at least two to three hours a day. To date, there is only one washer operating and two new washers yet to be installed.

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.
No An accounts payable system is in place.
No The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
No A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent.
No The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No A chart of accounts is used that identifies categories in a reasonable, usable manner.
No Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts.
No 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 has very limited means of running the washeteria. The honey-bucket and trash haul are not in operations due to the vehicles being broken down. The RMW has offered to have the vehicles fixed for free if parts needed are ordered and available. The city, despite being encouraged by RUBA staff, has not ordered the parts needed. The new washers can also be installed if hoists are provided by the city to the RMW to use. The city was charging $35 a month for the honey-bucket and trash hauls.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
No 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 made an agreement to pay for the past due tax liabilities and submit at least two quarterly tax reports. The agreement is for the city to make complete payments and submit the reports within sixty days. IRS has stated that the city had not yet sent the reports.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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.
No The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
A city council member has been doing the work of the city clerk's duties and responsibilities. The job has not been posted to date. The city does not have funds to pay for the position until it receives funds from the Community Revenue Sharing (CRS) and Payment-In-Lieu-of Taxes (PILT) programs.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
No The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
No 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.
No The policy making body meets as required.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
During the public meeting sponsored by VSW and RUBA, one council member attended and appointed three council members. One other council member was not in town to attend the meeting. RUBA staff had recommended to the council members to appoint enough council members to make a quorum and then appoint the rest. The city council has not held regular meetings to date and has not sent minutes of council meetings to meet the VSW requirement to meet regularly so far.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
No 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.
No Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
No The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed.
No The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
No The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
Yes 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
Maintenance of the washeteria/water treatment plant is provided by Bering Strait School District. The city does not have an operator since the school treats and stores the water.