Quarterly Report: 2008, April - June (Q4), Nightmute

Elizabeth Manfred  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Nightmute 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Nightmute provides a small water facility, which is the central watering point for residents to haul their own water. The City also provides water and sewer haul service. The city utility system has 37 residential units, 5 commercial/residential and 6 commercial units. The school has its own sewage lagoon. A washeteria is not available. The Nightmute power plant was acquired by AVEC in March 1998. Electricity is provided by AVEC. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The City of Nightmute experienced tunrover in both the administrator and bookkeeper positions. Nick Tom Jr. accepted the administrator job in February. His previous experience was with the Newtok Traditional Council. He brings management skill to the position and is working hard to add municipal government experience to his responsibilities. His first major issue concered a local business who is collecting sales tax yet is not reporting it or submitting it to the city per ordinance. Former City Bookkeeper Elizabeth Joe is assisting with training the new bookkeeper in the areas of monthly finace reports. She had agreed to do so when submitting a resignation. Her past experience will be very important in maintaining the stability of the accounting process, especially with billings and collections. On April 4, 2008 RUBA staff received a call from the City administration concerning the enforcement of the collection policy for water and sewer. He said the collection rate is very low and wanted some ideas how he could make changes in the wording to make it stronger and easier to enforce. The City administrator called and reqeuested assistance in hiring a contractor to repair heavy equipment owned by the City. I send him the IRS form W-9 with instructions. The City Administrator called and reqeuested assistance in figuring out how much to charge for heating oil and gasoline. City is getting a bulk fuel loan and is planning to resell the fuel. I requested the estimated figures for the loan and operations and maintenance costs then gave them a estimate of what to charge per gallon based on that information. The City administrator for the City of Nightmute called and requested assistance in setting up a collection policy for the City. We discussed several options including small claims court and use of collection agencies to collect old unpaid debts. Mr. Tom had questions on how a pass an ordinance that involves several entities in the community. This ordinance contained the Emergency Response Plan for the community of Nightmute and involved the City, Tribe and Native Corporation.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will request a preventative maintenance plan for the facility and equipment and is sending the utility a tax release form for signature. RUBA will continue requesting monthly financial reports.
Essential Indicators:
19 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
37 of 54


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.
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.
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
Finance reports are not up to date.

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.
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 collection policy is included in the utility service agreement that the customer signs. Collection is due in 30 days and interest is assessed on delinquent accounts. The City has biodegradable plastic liners for the customers that are using honey buckets and dumping the sewage into the lagoon. A NEBS cash receipt system is used to record revenues from customers. The payment is recorded in the customer records and then transferred to the computer. Collection of water and sewer billings has fallen and the city looking at different options to enforce their collection policy.

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
This section needs to be verified by IRS or documentation from the city. An IRS release will be send to the city.

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.
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.
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.
No The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
The City has worker's compensation insurance through AML/JIA. The insurance covers the period July 01, 2007 to July 01, 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.
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
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 sent the water operator for certification two or three times but he did not pass the tests. He has decided to resign from his position. The City is attempting to find, hire and train a new water operator.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
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.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The sewage haul and water delivery fee was raised to $27.50 from $25.00 on March 21, 2007. The City has been hiring temprary workers to conduct water sampling and paying $25.00 for conducting the sampling. The clinic is using a piped water system to fill their water holding tank. They are averaging about six sewage hauls a month for which they are charged a fee; the City has not charged any fee for water usage, however. The utility account has sufficient funds for emergency purposes. The City also has funds available to order spare parts for customers when needed by them.