Quarterly Report: 2010, April - June (Q4), Teller

Community:
Teller 
Staff:
Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Teller 
Population:
256  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
8/17/2010 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Teller does not have a piped water/wastewater utility. During the summer, water is hauled from the Gold Run River (20 miles away) by the City water truck, and delivered to home storage tanks. In the winter, treated water is delivered from a large storage tank at the washeteria, or residents use melted ice from area creeks. A few residents use their own ATV's or snowmachines to haul water. The school operates its own sewer system. Sixty-seven residents and 15 businesses use honeybuckets, which are hauled by the City. A few homes and facilities have septic tanks.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
At the request of the city, Nome RUBA staff traveled to Teller to provide budget training for the city clerk and office aide. The City of Teller uses funds from DCCED's Community Revenue Sharing Program and Payment-In-Lieu-of Taxes (PILT) Program to subsidize the trash and honey-bucket haul services. RUBA staff also showed how to use a comprehensive monthly financial statement in Excel Spreadsheet format for financial reports to the city council and public.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to work with the city clerk and city council to implement a computerized accounting system and to have the city clerk and office aide participate in the next RUBA-sponsored QuickBooks Pro training. RUBA staff will help drat a sample billing statement for the city to bill customer for the trash and honeybucket haul services and help set up a record-keeping system for the sanitation customers. RUBA staff will also review collection strategies for the sanitation services.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
17 of 24
Sustainable Indicators:
19 of 24
Total Score:
36 of 48

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city purchases heating oil from Teller Native Store. The city has a 300 gallon day tank that is filled up at least once every six weeks. The city pays for fuel oil and pays electrict bills using funds from the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporations' Community Benefits Share Program. The city has an FY10 budget, however, has not yet completed its FY11 budget due to a medical emergency with the city clerk's family. RUBA staff provided training for her to work on and complete a city budget, including the utility department's budget.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
No 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 not billed its trash and honey-bucket haul services. RUBA staff has recommended that the city clerk bill the customers so that the services can pay for themselves. The city has two operators to collect trash and honey-bucket containers around the community daily, five days a week. The hours are as needed.

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 is current with its tax reports and deposits. Funds from the Norton Sound Economic Development Community Benefits Share Program were used to pay off all past due tax liabilities. The payments and reports have been confirmed with IRS and DOL.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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 still hasn't purchased workers compensation. RUBA staff has and still is recommending to the city to purchase workers compensation coverage for its employees. RUBA staff has recommended that the city 'shop' around and get quotes from at least three insurance and workers' compensation providers for affordable and comprehensive coverage for its 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.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
N/A 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 Teller City Council is very active with making sure the trash/honey-bucket haul services are run as well as possible. The utility services are on the city council meeting agenda each month, discussed and decisions are made for implementation. The city does not employ utility operator(s), since the Bering Strait School District treats the drinking water.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
N/A The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing sanitation facilities.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
N/A 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.
N/A The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
N/A 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 does not employ a utility operator, since the water treatment plant is owned and operated by the Bering Straights School District. The sanitation truck driver and the other sanitation worker took the sanitation truck to Nome recently to have it serviced.