Quarterly Report: 2008, April - June (Q4), Elim

Josephine Bahnke  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Elim 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well and is treated. BIA and HUD housing, and water and sewer systems built by PHS in 1974, have provided residents wth piped water and sewer, indoor water heaters and plumbing and in-home washers and dryers. Waste flows out to a sewage treatment plant with ocean outfall. The landfill is not permitted. The City needs a new water source, since water shortages occur and to replace cracked PVC pipes. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
This quarter, a water and sewer main replacement business plan was completed by Northern Economics in conjunction with an Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) construction project this summer. The ANTHC held a pre-construction meeting with the community of Elim on June 19, 2008 to discuss local employment and project timeline. On April 10th, Nome RUBA staff met with ANTHC Project managers and Norton Sound Health Corporation Department of Environmental Health staff to focus on project needs by Bering Strait Region communities including: an update on existing projects; review of FY08 Sanitary Deficiency System (SDS) project narratives and scopes; and identification and discussion of the Village Safe Water Capital Improvement Program funding applications. RUBA staff presented updates on those communities with projects regarding RUBA management assessments. Nome RUBA staff was contacted by Mayor Katongan regarding concerns with the City's Airport contract with State Department of Transportation (DOT), water testing, and update on other construction projects this summer. The City Council is considering a contract with the ANTHC to provide third party billing for water and sewer. Water Operators Roy Daniels and David Nakarak successfully completed Construction Safety and Confined Space Training in Nome on May 19-22, 2008. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff will provide ongoing technical assistance and training to the City of Elim staff regarding financial matters and ordinance development. RUBA staff continues to be availabe to provide assistance with any management capacity indicators that are not being met. An on-site visit may be planned for this quarter.
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
26 of 27
Total Score:
52 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.
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 City of Elim adopted a FY08 budget appropriations ordinance on June 21, 2007. With RUBA assistance, the Council adopted an amended budget for the water and sewer utility on March 3, 2008. This includes a budget detail for all expenditures of the utility and was based on year-to-date actuals. According to the amended budget, the utility will generate $107,879 in revenues and expend $86,236 during the 2008 fiscal year. This is a difference of $21,643, a sufficient amount to cover routine maintenance and unanticipated replacements. As of February 2008, The Council is receiving monthly financial reports to monitor the budget and compare budget projections with what is really happening. As of January 31, 2008, the water and sewer utility has received $53,940 and expended $42,463. This is a difference of $11,477. The City purchased approximately 18,000 gallons of heating fuel at $2.88 per gallon for a total fuel bill of $51,849. The fuel was purchased by NSEDC on the City of Elim's behalf and they have offered alternative payment options that include $4,320 monthly payments or deduction from the City's 2007 Community Benefit Share. The operator provides a detailed written report that is provided to the Council monthly.

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 of Elim utilizes a combination of manual and computerized financial record keeping systems. The accounting software, QuickBooks Pro 2007 version, is utilized consistently. A NEBS receipt system is utilized to document customer payments and then entered into the computer and on customer cards. The bookkeeper does a wonderful job of entering information into the system. However, the information is not classified by department. The City of Elim recently revised and follows their collection policy; billing is conducted consistently and efficiently.

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.
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
The City of Elim is current with State and Federal deposits and reporting.

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.
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 Elim is currently insured by the Alaska Municipal League, Joint Insurance Associateion (AML-JIA) and in good standing for FY2008. A resolution was adopted by the Council stating that the City will pay $2,274.54 a month through April 2008 for the policy. The City of Elim follows their personnel policy and has written job descriptions for all employees. Staff has expressed a desire to update policies and job descriptions as the current ones are outdated. Personnel files consist of all necessary information except for a letter of acceptance.

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 is the owner of the water and sewer utility. The decision making authority and enforcement of utility policy is vested in the City Council. Chapter 36-Water and Sewer System of the Code of Ordinances outlines the rules and regulations of the utility. A committee of the Council has recently been formed to address utility issues and has expressed interest in RUBA assistance with ordinance amendments. The City Clerk is responsible for utility management and will require training. The Bookkeeper has successfully completed Utility Financial Management and a QuickBooks class sponsored by the RUBA Program.

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 utility operator is certified in water distribution and water treatment at the Operator in Training (OIT) level. He also has provisional certification in wastewater collection and wastewater treatment. In addition to salary, utility operator incentive pay is provided on a monthly basis for water sampling, documenting daily activities, fuel tank and water meter readings, connection and disconnection of homes to the water and sewer system, and safety inspections. The 2006 Consumer Confidence Report was completed and distributed with the assistance of Norton Sound Health Corporation, Office of Environmental Health. At present, the system has returned to compliance with the Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR) and meets all regulatory criteria. In partnership with ANTHC, the City has project funding for water treatment plant upgrades, water service line connections, and rehabilitation of water/sewer mainline and service lines.