Quarterly Report: 2009, October - December (Q2), Wales

Karlin Itchoak  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Wales 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Two new groundwater wells have been drilled and a pumphouse and watering point enclosure are needed. Currently, water is derived from Gilbert Creek during the summer, and residents haul treated water from a 500,000-gal. storage tank at the washeteria. Some residents use untreated water from Village Creek. Almost all residents use honeybuckets, and very few homes currently have plumbing. A honey bucket haul system is in place. The school and clinic are served by piped water. There are two septic systems - one for the school and a second for teacher's housing, the clinic, and the city building. A master plan to implement a piped system has been completed. There is no permit for the landfill. Village Safe Water is applying for sanitation grants for the community to upgrade the washeteria. The new facility will most likely be a multi-purpose facility to include the washeteria, water plant, and a new clinic. The condemned City dome will probably be torn down and its location used for the new multi-purpose facility. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff has been in communication with the city mayor, council members, and staff on a regular basis throughout the quarter. Mayor Frank Crisci contacted Nome RUBA staff looking for a grant for spill containment gear, two 15 thousand gallon double-walled fuel tanks, and a single 10 thousand gallon double-walled oil tank. Nome RUBA staff will research the availability of such grants. In the meantime, Nome staff gave Mayor Crisci the contact information for the Rasmuson Foundation's program officer who mentioned that projects in Western Alaska are under-represented. The mayor called Nome RUBA staff regarding issues relating to the preparation and installation of a water transmission line being installed by Village Safe Water. He mentioned that the route of the line needed to be changed, which will cause delay in the project. The line was initially going to go through the snow fence and a swamp. Mr. Crisci had concerns with the equipment lease agreement pertaining to the lease of the City's 4-wheeler, back hoe and 8-wheeler. Nome RUBA staff drafted an alternative lease agreement, which was signed by both parties. In addition, the mayor held a meeting with the IRA tribal council regarding the agreement over the bulk fuel farm and stated that the Tribe did not want to be charged fees. The mayor and the Tribe worked out a written agreement in which the Tribe would be responsible for all operations and maintenance costs. The City will continue paying for the emergency response plans, insurance, and emergency response equipment. The City of Wales meets all essential management indicators at this time.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff will continue to provide assistance..
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
17 of 27
Total Score:
44 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.
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.
No 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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city council members are currently receiving monthly financial reports. The mayor and the city clerk provide the council with verbal reports made on the record and the water plant operator provides written 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
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.
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 of Wales utilizes a manual financial record keeping system. The clerk does a good job at recording all cash transactions; entries are legible and easy to read. The City keeps an updated spreadsheet to record honey bucket haul receipts by customers and a daily log for all washeteria tokens sold, bulk water sales, and all cigarettes sold. The city clerk does a good job of consistently sending out monthly statements to customers. The only major past due bill is owed by the Bering Straits School District for bulk water purchases in the amount of $6,642. Collection notices have been sent to the school and Mayor Crisci has followed through with a phone call to the principal who in turn has contacted the school district. Mayor Crisci has been assured that the school district will pay the bill.

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 City of Wales is in compliance with all employment tax obligations. The Notice of Federal Tax lien filed against the City of Wales on January 20, 2005 (recorded on February 23, 2005 at 11:36 a.m.) was released by the IRS on May 4, 2005. Research indicates that there are currently no encumbrances against the City of Wales and the Internal Revenue Service deems them compliant at this time.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
Yes The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
The City of Wales is currently insured by the Alaska Municipal League, Joint Insurance Association (AML-JIA). The City of Wales has not yet reviewed their draft personnel policies and a few council members have expressed a desire to prioritize and accomplish this task in order to improve employee morale and to provide consistent treatment of all employees.

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 is the owner of the water and honey bucket utility. The decision making authority and enforcement of the utility policy is vested in the city council. The city council is responsible for billing and maintaining customer files. An organizational chart has not been located.

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
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".
No 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
Utility Operator Larry Sereadlook, is not yet certified in Water Distribution and Water Treatment at the Operator in Training (OIT) level. Mr. Sereadlook will continue working toward becoming certified. In partnership with VSW, the City has project funding for a water transmission line and plant upgrades. The City of Wales is on the Significant Non-Conpliance list for VSW Funding Condition Use as of October 2007. This is primarily due to the system needing treatment upgrades to address turbidity treatment technique/HaloAcetic Acids maximum containment levels excedence and Copper action level excedence.