Quarterly Report: 2014, April - June (Q4), Brevig Mission

Community:
Brevig Mission 
Staff:
Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
Nome regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Brevig Mission 
Population:
445 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
8/17/2011 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/1/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Brevig Mission completed construction of a 8.5 million dollar, 4-phased piped water and wastewater system and new landfill in November 2002. The water and wastewater system is rated as a Class A system. Water is supplied from Shelmon Creek and is treated and stored in a 100,000-gallon tank at the washeteria. The tank is filled monthly. Water is piped into the school from the washeteria.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
This past quarter, RUBA staff kept in contact with a new city clerk. A city/utility clerk training plan was drafted by RUBA staff and city clerk according to her training needs. An initial trip was planned to review the training plan with the city clerk with the goal of adding more on-site training if needed. Unfortunately, the city clerk abruptly resigned and move out of town. A new city clerk was hired. RUBA staff made a call to introduce himself. Issues currently affecting the city were discussed. The city clerk is the supervisor for all the city employees. The city continues to experience financial issues. The mayor has stated that he is trying to pay off most of the past dues before he retires after the October elections. RUBA staff recommended to him to contact each one of the vendors the city owes money to for services or items purchased. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff plans to travel to Brevig Mission at least twice to provide training for the new city clerk with her duties and responsibilities. RUBA staff may train the city clerk with running the municipal elections. RUBA staff will also meet with the mayor and city council to continue reviewing options of paying off past due accounts and possibly continue making cutbacks on expenses.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
21 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
22 of 27
Total Score:
43 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.
No Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
No 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.
No 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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city's expected FY '15 deficit for the water and wastewater department is at least $120,000. The city charges residential customers $100.00 and month and $20.00 a month for trash pickup and haul. The city does not do a breakdown or separation on the revenues for the water and wastewater/trash haul. The bills are sent to the residential customers as one for the two services. There are also no separation of the expenses for both of the services, although there are major expenses for the trash haul services are very high, especially for an employee, gas consumption for hauling trash with either an ATV or snowmachine, vehicle maintenance, etc. The landfill is located at least 2 miles southeast of Brevig Mission. The City currently does not make monthly financial statements for the city council and public. In the past, RUBA staff has recommended to the city council to list all the major past dues to be included in the monthly financial reports so that the council can see how much is owed by the city to various vendors as the council has complained in the past that they did not know the city owed that much to the vendors. The City has a substantial outstanding past due electricity bill for all its infrastructures, including the water treatment and wastewater treatment plants. RUBA staff has encouraged the mayor to call its electricity provider a call to set up an payment plan, including paying of all or most of the past due account using revenues from the Community Revenue Sharing Program and Payment-In-Lieu-of Taxes (PILT) Program or Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation's (NSEDC) Community Benefits Share Program. The payments need to be made by July 7, 2014, or the electricity will be cut off for all the city-owned infrastructures. The City participates in NSEDC's Bulk Fuel Purchasing Program but still owes the program money for diesel fuel purchased and delivered from last year. The City has at least 8,000 gallons left over from last year and may need to order at least 25-30,000 gallons for next year. NSEDC usually has the fuel delivered by early September and asks each participating community to pay for its share from the Community Benefits Share funds before it is delivered. The revenues from its water and wastewater utility services do not cover the operating expenses. The City has not raised its rates since the beginning of the water and wastewater services started mid-90s. The city council feels it should continue to provide the essential services to the public by keeping the water and wastewater utility bills as they are now. The revenue shortfall from paying customers is subsidized by funds from bingo/pulltac earnings, sales tax and Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation's Community Benefits Share Program. The revenues from paying customers has steadily decreased over the years and the expenditures have increased, mainly due to rising fuel prices, electricity, personnel and workers' compensation/general liability coverages. Despite the turnover of council members and mayors, the council continues to make budgetary amendments as needed.

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 city has taken some of the water and wastewater utility customers to small claims court as outlined and required in the Water and Wastewater ordinance. This action has made some and most of the customers to make payments with their past due accounts. The city uses QuickBooks to bill all its water and wastewater customers regularly. QuickBooks is used to age the past due customers. The QuickBooks accounts payable is not implemented as well as it should be in QuickBooks. The city subscribes to Intuit's monthly payroll updates and payroll records are well kept. However, the city continues to provide employment when it cannot afford to. The mayor has cut back some of the employees' hours as much as he can. All revenues received are recorded in QuickBooks. All or most funds spent are recorded using checks and purchases made using cash have receipts identifying what the funds were used for. The city has installed a chart of accounts in QuickBooks to categorize revenues and expenditures. Monthly bank reconciliations are made regularly for the utility's bank account. All purchases made are compared with the budget and if the city can afford to make the purchase. All purchases made require at least two signatures from two council members who have been approved by the whole council to be cosigners.

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.
No 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 uses Quickbooks to complete quarterly tax reports. The city is current on filing all tax reports and has made an agreement with IRS to keep current with tax payments. The city keeps current with tax deposits and reports as required.

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.
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.
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 has workers' compensation coverage to June 30, 2014 through Alaska Municipal League-Joint Insurance Association (AML-JIA). The city has a comprehensive personnel policies. The city will need to start having new job descriptions for all its employees. The city follows its written personnel evaluation for all its employees. The personnel policies has a written process to hire new employees. The personnel files for all the city's employees are fairly complete. The city has a three month probationary period and is reviewed by the city clerk who is the designated supervisor for all the city 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.
No 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 meets regularly and the water and wastewater issues are in its monthly meeting agendas. The city council is very active in policy making of the utility. The council usually decides on disconnecting customers who are behind on paying their utility bills by at least three months. The city clerk is the utility manager for the utility and may need training. The utility clerk is the bookkeeper and is adequately trained, however, may need some more training with QuickBooks and some other duties. The utility operators are certified to Provisional 1 for water treatment certification. The city has an organizational chart and is updated regularly as needed. The city council meets at least once a month and as needed to deal with utility issues. All meetings are open to the public. The City Council went through two mayors within six months as the financial issues have taken its toll on some of the members.

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.
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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility operators certified to the level of the water and wastewater systems managed and operated by the city. The city clerk makes monthly reports on the status of each department, including the water and waste water department. RUBA staff has recommended to the city to attend Alaska Municipal Leagues Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA) sponsored monthly safety meetings by teleconference. The water and wastewater operators have recommended to the city council to purchase at least 35,000 gallons of diesel fuel for use with the water and wastewater plants.