Quarterly Report: 2010, October - December (Q2), White Mountain

Community:
White Mountain 
Staff:
Leroy Seppilu  
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:
2/22/2010 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well near the Fish River and is treated. All households and factilities are connected to the piped water and sewer system. The school was completely destroyed in a fire and the new school is under construction and will also be connected to the cities water sewer system. The City has also requested funding to relocate the landfill, the current site is not permitted. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
At the request of the White Mountain City Council, Nome RUBA staff traveled to the city on October 29-30, 2009. The purpose of the trip was to perform a RUBA management assessment and meet the new utility clerk to determine training needs. In addition, RUBA met with the city clerk to review the city's code of ordinances. The management assessment revealed that the utility is not enforcing the collection policy. RUBA advised that the council will need to consider writing off the oldest past debt. The clerk stated that the city has previously attempted to collect using small claims court and collection agencies with no positive results. RUBA will work with the new utility clerk to devise positive collection methods and monitor the efforts. There are additional deficient essential indicators and RUBA will work with the utility clerk to improve those. Sanitation construction funds will not be released until all essential indicators are met.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff will work with the new utility clerk to make collection efforts on the past due accounts. The new utility clerk does keep track of the past due accounts using QBP. RUBA staff will work with the city council and utility clerk to revise the water and sewer utility ordinance. RUBA staff will make at least one on-site visit to the community to work with the city council and utility clerk to assist the utility meet the essential indicators identified in this report, including setting collection strategies on the past due receivables.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
22 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
25 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 Fiscal Year 2009 City of White Mountain Water and Sewer Utility actual revenues were $80,133.30 and the expenditures were $126,000. This may be due to the fact that the water mains burst a couple of time last winter. The 2008-09 winter was very severe with subzero temperatures and heavy snow. The utility clerk makes very comprehensive monthly financial reports, with detailed explanation of issues and how they are dealt with. An Excel spreadsheet format is used for the monthly financial report. The utility used about $30,000 of the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation's Community Benefit Share funds to purchase diesel fuel for the winter.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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 new utility clerk stated and showed RUBA staff that the utility has large accounts receivables, mainly from past due residential water and sewer customers. About 85% of the past due accounts are over seven years old and may have to be purged from the list. Although the water and sewer utility has a comprehensive water and sewer utility ordinance, it has not followed the requirements to demand collection from past due customers as required by the utility ordinance. The new utility clerk is experienced and familiar with 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 keeps separate Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) and state ESC reports and payments from the City. The utility was behind with tax liabilities payments and reports but is now all caught up. The Employment Security Contribution employer rate for this year (2009) is 1.46%.

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.
Yes 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 has insurance and workers' compensation coverage with the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA). The city uses funds received from Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) to pay for most or part of the insurance premium, including workers' compensation. The utility needs to review and update its personnel files The utility uses the city's personnel policies. The city council hired the acting utility clerk as she has extensive financial and office management experience.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
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 policy making body is not enforcing the collections policy. The current water and wastewater utility ordinance meets the needs of the water and wastewater utility, however it needs to be reveiwed and updated. The main operator and his alternate need to be certified to Level 1 and are working with the regional Remote Maintenance Worker to obtain Level 1.

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".
Yes 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
The City of White Mountain, utilities department, completed and submitted its Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) on October 1st, 2009. The utility is not on the Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list. The main operator and his alternate need to be certified to Level 1 and are working with the regional RMW to obtain Level 1. certification. Currently, the utility not hold safety meetings with and for its employees.