Quarterly Report: 2010, April - June (Q4), White Mountain

Community:
White Mountain 
Staff:
Steve Brock  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of White Mountain 
Population:
215  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
8/17/2010 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well near the Fish River and is treated. All households and facilities are connected to the piped water and sewer system. The new school was completed in August 2009 and is connected to the city's water and sewer system. The City has also requested funding to relocate the landfill. The current site is not permitted. The City is waiting on the Village Corporation to transfer the 1280 acres that will become the City's land site. Until this transfer is completed, the location of new landfill site cannot be determined.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
At the request of the White Mountain Mayor, Nome RUBA staff traveled to White Mountain on June 15, 2010 to conduct a RUBA management assessment. RUBA staff met with the city council to discuss RUBA assistance agreements and assessments. The council approved the agreement unanimously and the mayor signed said agreement. RUBA staff toured the water plant with the plant operator to become familiar with the layout of the system. The RUBA assessment was completed during the visit. The utility was found in non-compliance because it did not have a balanced budget. RUBA staff recommended adjustments to the chart of accounts and the budgeting process to easily allow the utility to become compliant. The city ordinances have not been updated and will require review and codification. It should be noted that the council and entire staff of White Mountain were very helpful throughout the on site visit.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff will develop a work plan with the city to help the utility pass the essential and sustainable indicators that have not been met. A site visit will be scheduled for this coming quarter to assist the city with implementing the work plan.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
47 of 54

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No 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.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The utility does not have a balanced annual budget. Budgeted and year-to-date revenues exceed expenditures. The utility still has a fairly large amount of past due accounts receivable from the water and wastewater residential customers. Most of the past due amounts are several years old and no efforts were made by the previous utility clerk to collect them. The city council is planning to take the past due accounts to small claims court to collect them.

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 utility clerk is proficient in the use of QuickBooks Pro. She bills the customers consistently and regularly. She is in the process of submitting the past due customers to small claims court. The utility clerk makes comprehensive monthly financial reports using QuickBooks Pro and Excel Spreadsheet. Payroll and payroll records are calculated and tracked using QuickBooks Pro.

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.
Yes 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 utility is current with filing tax reports and tax deposits. All tax reports and electronic deposits are completed using QuickBooks Pro. Both the IRS and DOL have deemed White Mountain compliant at thsi 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.
No 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.
Yes The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
The utility is current with its payment of insurance and workers compensation coverage with the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA). The utility does not have written job descriptions for all current positions. The utility uses a generic evaluation form for all it's employees, not one tied to the job description. The city clerk supervises the utility clerk who in turn supervises the utility operators.

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 council is trying to enforce the utility policy; they have told the utility clerk to collect on the past due water and wastewater accounts. However, most of the past due amounts are over seven years old and are being purged. The utility clerk will take the rest to small claims court. The utility operators are currently certified at the level needed to maintain and operate the water and sewer utility.

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.
Yes 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 utility holds safety meetings with and for its employees. RUBA staff recommended to the utility clerk that utility employees should attend AML/JIA sponsored safety meetings by teleconference. The manager does not receive a monthly operations and maintenance report. The utility does not maintain an inventory control list or a critical spare parts list.