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

Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Wales 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Two new groundwater wells have been drilled. A pumphouse and watering point enclosure are needed. Currently, water is derived from Gilbert Creek during the summer and residents haul treated water from a 500,000-gal. storage tank at the washeteria. Some residents use untreated water from Village Creek. Almost all residents use honeybuckets, and very few homes currently have plumbing. A honey bucket haul system is in place. The school and clinic are served by piped water. There are two wastewater systems - one for the school and a second for teacher's housing, the clinic, and the city building. A master plan to implement a piped system has been completed. There is no permit for the landfill. Village Safe Water is applying for sanitation grants for the community to upgrade the washeteria. The new facility will most likely be a multi-purpose facility to include the washeteria, water plant, and a new clinic. The condemned city dome will probably be torn down and its location used for the new multi-purpose facility. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff has spoken with the City of Wales numerous times throughout the quarter. One of the requests from the mayor to provide a sample personnel policies which includes At-Will Employment policy. RUBA staff recommended to the mayor and the city council to have their insurance provider's lawyer review and make changes at the lawyer's recommendations. After the lawyer's review, the council reviewed and passed the personnel policies. The new policies applies to all city employees, including those that work for the utilities. All city employees will now have to sign a new employment agreement and are given 30 days to sign it or face termination. RUBA staff was scheduled to travel to Wales to train city clerk with payroll and tax reports/payments, but the flight was cancelled twice. Wales has been re-assigned to a new RUBA staff in Nome. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The responsibility for the community for advise and assistance of RUBA issues has been transferred to Iura Leahu. A trip to the community will be scheduled for the coming quarter.
Essential Indicators:
19 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
19 of 27
Total Score:
38 of 53


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.
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.
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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city passed its FY13 budget on time. The city has not prepared financial reports or submitted to the city council. The city keeps up to date with th washeteria electricity bills. About 5,000 gallons of diesel was ordered for the year and the city has about 10,000 gallons in its reserved. 15,000 gallons is adequate for remainder of the year. RUBA has provided the mayor and city staff a sample monthly financial report format in Excel spreadsheet to use so the council can begin receiving monthly financial reports. To date, the city has not implemented it. The city continues to provide a large subsidy for the trash and honey-bucket haul services using funds from Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation's annual Community Benefits Share Program.

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 City of Wales adopted a new trash/honeybucket haul ordinance. RUBA staff recommended to have all the customers sign a new agreement. Utility customers are billed regularly by the city clerk. Collection rate hovers around 5-10% a year. All billing is done manually. Payroll recordkeeping is done using Excel spreadsheet with its formulas and are fairly accurate. A receipt book is used to manually record all incoming revenues and a cash disbursement for expenditures.

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 is current with all its payroll taxes and quarterly tax reports with IRS and Employment Security Division (ESD). The city had a past due tax liability that was paid off after IRS sent a notification letter to the city.

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.
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.
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 Wales has Workers' Compensation coverage through Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA). The city paid and updated its workers' compensation coverage and is effective through end of June, 2012. The city adopted a personnel policies that has an At-Will Employment clause in it. RUBA staff recommended to the mayor and council to first review a draft provided by RUBA, make changes as desired and within State and federal employment laws and have a lawyer from its insurance provider review it. After the lawyer reviewed and recommended changes, the city council approved and passed it. A clause in the personnel policies states that all city employees will be given time to sign a new agreement that states that employees will be given time to review and sign the employment agreement.

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.
No 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.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The Wales City Council is the policy making body of the utilities. However The council is active in policy making of the utility. The enforcement of trash and honeybucket haul are difficult to implement, as there is no way to shut off customers. When the city does not pick up trash and honeybucket bins, the areas around the bins become health issues. The current city clerk knows basics of bookkeeping, but needs more training with her duties.

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 Wales utility operator, held a Provisional 1 certification but his certification expired at the end of 2011. The City of Wales has completed the 2010 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The utility is not on the Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list. They maintain an inventory control and critical spare parts list. Norton Sound Health Corporation's Office of Environmental Health office assists all the communities in the Norton Sound region. The 2011 CCR will be completed this summer.