|Shishmaref oeprates the utility service an enterprise. The utility is compliant with the essential indicators of the utility finance. As of January 21, 2011, the utility and city finances are in good standing. The city, however, struggles to receive the necessary utility related revenues to cover the operating expenses. As per the FY11 budget, the expected utility revenues are less than the expected expenditures. To address this fiscal problem, the city council made a decision to subsidize the washeteria services by transferring money from other funds, such as the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT).
As per city officials, the city clerk, city bookkeeper, and the new utility clerk prepare monthly financial reports and submit them to the city council on monthly basis. The regular scheduled meeting minutes of December 6, 2010 show that the city council was aware of the financial difficulties of the washeteria. The council scheduled a budget work session for December 17, 2010 to address washeteria salaries, which were short by $17,000.00. The minutes indicated that the governing body proposed cutting the water plant operator's work hours. The bookkeeper provided RUBA staff with the last three months' monthly financial reports.
The city council is active in the budget activity process and it has a good grasp of the fiscal reality of the city and utility. The council makes informed decisions regarding utility finances because it receives and reviews monthly financial reports indicating the conditions of city's and utility's finances. As a result, the city council proposed a budget amendment for the fiscal year 2011. Due to increases in revenues originating from Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) reimbursement, revenue sharing, telephone and electric Co-op, PILT, training reimbursement and fuel sales, the governing body made amendments to both revenues and expenditures for the remaining fiscal year 2011. On February 9, 2011, the governing body adopted the budget amendment ordinance.