Quarterly Report: 2012, April - June (Q4), Shageluk

Fred Broerman  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Shageluk 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Shageluk has about forty homes, all of which use honey buckets and pit privies to dispose their waste. Residents haul water from the community's single watering point at the washeteria/water treatment plant. There is no charge for the water. The washeteria/water plant was built around 1994 and is owned and operated by the city. Ten HUD houses constructed in 1991 have flush and haul sewer capabilities but the city's waste hauling apparatus is not operational. The community's post office, clinic, city building, washeteria have piped water and sewer. The school is also connected to the city's sewer lines but has its own well, but the water from the well can only be used for washing and cleaning. Drinking water is hauled daily to the school from the water treatment plant. The community's electric utility is Alaska Village Electric Cooperative. Fuel is delivered by Ruby Marine and Zho-Tse Inc, the tribal corporation, is the community's fuel vendor. The city operates and maintains the community's landfill. A sanitation master plan for the community was completed in 2001 and is currently being amended with projected publication in May 2011. Changes in the sanitation plan focus on lowering the capitol cost per home for building the system and the long term monthly operation and maintenance cost to customers. If funds are granted a tentative schedule would be to initiate construction on the community's sewage lagoon in 2012 and construction of water and sewer lines in following years.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On May 8 to 9 RUBA staff visited the community. On the evening of May 8, Bethel staff attended the city council's regular monthly meeting. Council members had just received word through Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium's (ANTHC) project engineer that Capitol Improvements Project (CIP) and Sanitation Deficiency System (SDS) funding might be available to drill wells at seven residences in the community. Drilling the wells will be an experimental project to see if providing water to residents in this way will be more cost-effective than building and maintaining a central water plant and piping water to homes. City council members wondered about what type of waste water system might be planned if homes had individual wells. Council members decided to invite ANTHC's project engineer to a council meeting to explain further. Shageluk's draft Amended Sanitation Facilities Master Plan (dated April 2010) proposes a piped gravity flow waste water system which would include the expansion of the current lagoon. From June 22 to July 2, 2012 Bethel RUBA staff assisted the City of Shageluk's administrative staff in drafting their FY13 Budget and FY11 Certified Financial Statement (CFS), as well as preparing an accompanying budget ordinance, Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) and CFS resolutions. The city's recently hired administrator and clerk were both new to city government and overseeing a utility. Neither had experience compiling financials as required for RUBA compliance or municipalities applying for Community Revenue Sharing and PILT payments. It took several email exchanges and a few lengthy phone conversations to walk the administrator and clerk through reporting the city's financials using the state's City Budget and Certified Financial Statement manuals. Early in 2012, when the administrator was hired by the city, Bethel staff worked with her to get her set up and entering the city's financials into a multi-month financial statement which lists expenditures by department as required for RUBA compliance. Since then the administrator had been diligent entering the municipality's financials each month, it helped her in projecting FY 13 revenues and expenditures, and understanding the big picture of the city's financials.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Bethel staff will be available to work with the new administrative staff to update the status of their RUBA indicators.
Essential Indicators:
21 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
19 of 27
Total Score:
40 of 53


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.
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
Shageluk passed their FY 2013 budget appropriation ordinance on June 28, 2012. Copies of the budget and ordinance are on file in the Bethel RUBA office. The budget appears to be realistic, detailed and balanced. The city provided the Bethel regional office with a monthly financial that included March, April, May and June. However, minutes were only provided for a May 8, 2012 regular council meeting. Minutes need to be submitted for the other city council meetings that occurred during the quarter. Minutes should specifically state which monthly financial reports are reviewed at each council meeting. A June 15, 2012 correspondence from Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) indicated all the city's electric accounts were current. On July 16, 2012 the city clerk indicated that the city received 8,000 gallons of heating fuel on June 24, 2012. Ruby Marine will be topping off the city's tank(s) with about 1,500 additional gallons before the Innoko River freezes up for the winter. Fuel from these deliveries should be enough to heat the city's facilities during the winter 2012-2013.

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
Sections 2.11-2.14 of Shageluk's Code of Water and Sewer Ordinances adopted on November 23, 2005 address billing and payment, administration and enforcement and restoration of service for utility customers. The school and the post office are the city's only paying customers for water and sewer services, are billed on a monthly basis. The system for accounts payable and accounts receivable is in place and is done manually. The payroll system is done manually and has been adequate to meet their record keeping and payroll needs. A chart of accounts has been developed and is used to track cash receipts and disbursements. Bank reconciliations are kept up to date. A purchase order form has been developed for the utility service workers and a copy is on file at the Bethel regional office.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
N/A 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
Fax correspondence from IRS Taxpayer Advocate dated July 11, 2012 states indicates that the city owes a small amount of federal 941 payroll taxes from the fourth quarter of 2011 and has not filed 941 payroll information returns for the first quarter of 2012. The City of Shageluk was not listed on the March-April 2012 LIEN WATCH: A Review of Small Community Liens. A June 14, 2012 email correspondence from the State of Alaska, Department of Labor's Anchorage Employment Security Tax office indicated the city was in compliance with employment security tax requirements through March 31, 2012.

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.
No The utility has personnel folders on every employee that contain at least: I-9, Job Application and Letter of Acceptance.
No 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
A July 16, 2012 query done on the Department of Labor's Worker's Compensation employer database indicates that the city has workers' compensation insurance for its employees with Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association. Job descriptions for the city's utility operator and city administrator are adequate and on the file in the Bethel Regional Office. A Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual is on file but is it is not dated nor is there documentation that the manual has been adopted by city council. The city needs to provide documentation that evaluations of employees are conducted at least annually and the evaluation process is tied to each employee's job description.

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
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
City of Shageluk Code of Water and Sewer Ordinances Ordinance #05-02 adopted on November 23, 2005 is on file at the Bethel Regional office. The city adminisrator was hired on February 20, 2012 and the city clerk on April 6, 2012. The administrator attended a QuickBooks training in late February-early March of 2012 and the mayor and the administrator attended a RUBA Utility Management training in April of 2012. Alaska's Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database classifies Shageluk's water treatment plant as 'Small Water System Treated Water System'. The operator of the plant is required to have a Small Treated Water System Certification to be compliant with DEC regulations. The city hired the water plant operator on December 12, 2011. He had not passed the state's certification test as of July 16, 2012. An organizational chart for the city is on file however, it is not dated nor has verification been provided that it's been approved by council members. The city council usually meets at least monthly pursuant to Alaska Title 29 and public notification of meetings and the manner in which they are conducted is in accordance with Alaska's Open Meeting Act or otherwise stated in local ordinances.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
Alaska's Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database classifies Shageluk's water treatment plant as 'Small Water System Treated Water System'. The operator of the plant is reqiured to have a Treated Water System Certification to be compliant with DEC requirements. The city hired their water plant operator on December 12, 2011. He had not passed the state's certification test as of July 16, 2012. Shageluk's preventative maintenance plan is contained under Chapter 2 (pages 10-24) of the Operations and Maintenance Manual. The city also has a forty-eight page safety policy but documentation has not been submitted that verifies regular safety meetings our being held. A copy of the city's 2010 Consumer Confidence Report is electronically filed at the Bethel RUBA office along with a certification form signed by the mayor on June 28, 2011 indicating the report was distributed and posted in the community. The utility is not on the April 2012 Significant Non-Compliance list. An inventory control list has been submitted to the Bethel RUBA office, but a critical spare parts list has not.