Quarterly Report: 2014, April - June (Q4), Nondalton

Community:
Nondalton 
Staff:
Roberta Eleazer  
DCRA Regional Office:
Anchorage regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
Lake and Peninsula Borough 
Agreement?
Yes 
Agreement Date:
6/27/2014 
Entity:
City of Nondalton 
Population:
165 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
4/8/2014 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/1/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Nondalton operates the piped water and wastewater system and provides a central watering point for residents to haul their own water. The city provides water to the school, hauls garbage, sells fuel, plows snow from city roads, and maintains the airport runway. An infiltration gallery at Six-Mile Lake supplies the community with treated water. They pump and treat 80,000 to 100,000 gallons a day. There are 88,000 gallons of storage capacity and 60 residences are connected to the piped water and wastewater system. There are three non-metered summer lodges which provide seasonal service from June to September. Nondalton's utility treatment plant is in the process of being completely renovated. Once the project is finished, a 20,000 gallon chlorine contact tank will have been installed, and there will be five new service connections. The water utility is on the April 2014 SNC list. Baffles were installed in the contact tank; however, the chlorine pump is still causing issues. The INN Electric Cooperative owns a diesel plant in Newhalen and 50 miles of distribution line which connect Iliamna, Newhalen, and Nondalton. The Tazimina Hydroelectric Project powers the three communities. The city council is the policy-making body for the sanitation utility, effectively serving as the utility board. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
During a requested on-site visit in June, RUBA staff met the new city administrator, assisted with drafting the FY14 Certified Financial Statement, and attended a council meeting. The city administrator and RUBA staff completed 12 months of bank reconciliations discovering duplicate checks, as well as fees and deposits which had not been inputted into QuickBooks. The city clerk reviewed the revenue and expenses for FY14 and classified all transactions. RUBA staff contacted First National Bank and requested the procedure necessary to allow the administrator access to the account records for future clarifications and drafted a letter from the city council stating their permission. Also this quarter, RUBA staff reviewed the Open Meeting Act with the city administrator and clerk, affirming the requirements for public notice of meetings and recommending that the council packet be delivered to the council at least three days before the meeting to enable the council to read and be ready to discuss city business. RUBA staff discussed the RUBA water rate study and the difficulties in determining actual expenses because of the leaky pipes this quarter, as well. The electricity costs far exceed the budgeted amount and revenue is not meeting expenses. RUBA staff recommended raising the commercial rates for the lodges within the city boundaries or requiring them to purchase meters. RUBA staff assured the council that RUBA recommends any changes of utility rates to include a public process. RUBA staff shared the importance of conducting a public awareness campaign and promoting approaches for households to conserve water to lower rates. The administrative assistant is aggressively pursuing funding to repair/replace old, leaky lines which increase water production and costs. RUBA staff met with utility operators this quarter to congratulate them on their recent water operator certification. Additionally, RUBA staff reviewed the city's 2012 Consumer Confidence Report and explained due dates and requirements for the 2013 report. Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation is overseeing the CCR report and will distribute it by July 1, 2014. Further, RUBA staff contacted the city's administrator, advising him that the application for Community Revenue Sharing (CRS) funds had not been received in the Juneau office. The application was then completed and postmarked May 30. Community Revenue Sharing funds partially subsidize the utility budget.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will assist the city in producing an electronic copy of the final municipal code and continue to mentor the city clerk in a few outstanding QuickBooks problems. RUBA staff has been asked to provide an Elected Officials Management for Rural Utilities training in the fall.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
26 of 27
Total Score:
52 of 53

Finances

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 FY14 budget was adopted on June 11, 2013. The FY15 proposed budget was presented to the council and passed at the June council meeting. Revenue and expenses for the utility are listed in the overall budget. RUBA staff recommended a portion of the city administrators and city clerk payroll expenses be included in the FY15 utility budget. The budget lists operating revenue at $97,000 and is based on a 85 percent utility collections rate. Utility expenditures are listed at $92,000.

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 accountant supplied a profit and loss statement for the landfill, water, and wastewater and the FY14 budget. An accounts payable system is in place. The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records. A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent. A chart of accounts is used that identifies categories in a reasonable, usable manner. The administrator provided a chart of accounts and an actual utility bill. FY14 monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts. The utility has a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase, and the approval process compares proposed purchases to budgeted amounts. The mayor approves all purchases. The city administrator and the city clerk both input data into QuickBooks. In addition, a Certified Public Accountant is paid a regular salary to review all the accounts monthly and sometimes more frequently. The administrator and clerk call the CPA whenever they have a question. The same CPA completed a Certified Financial Statement for the city last year. She keeps her own version of the city's books so she can quickly identify and rectify any discrepancies that may come up in her review of the QuickBook entries the city administrator or clerk makes in the city's QuickBooks program, and to provide direct instruction. The city's utility collection rate is 100% and there are no past due accounts.

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
Tax clearance with the State Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service was verified, as of June 9, 2014. Nondalton has no recorded tax liens.

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
Workers' compensation insurance is provided by Alaska Public Entity Insurance and is valid as of June 2014. The notice of insurance is posted in city hall and in two other places on the employer's premises as required by AS 23.30.060. The city utilizes a personnel policy that was previously reviewed by DCCED. During the assessment, the reviewer noted that the city had written job descriptions, personnel files were neatly organized, and contained required documentation. New hires undergo a probationary period and employees have the opportunity to travel for training as needed. There is money for training in the current budget. Nondalton city staff takes advantage of all RUBA scheduled trainings. Nondalton's mayor attended elected officials training. The city clerk attended organizational management training and the newly hired city administrator and city clerk both attended financial management training in Dillingham in May 2014. Additionally, staff participates in bi-monthly web-training through Alaska Public Entity Insurance which provides credits towards lower monthly rates.

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 of Nondalton is the owner of the utility. The decision-making authority and enforcement of the utility policy is vested in the council. The city administrator has oversight of the utility and maintains the books for the utility with the assistance of a Certified Public Accountant. The city clerk makes some entries in the books as well, mainly to do with fuel sales. The CPA reviews the city's QuickBooks accounts regularly and compares them with her own books which are kept separately, both as a check-and-balance system and as a back-up in the event the city's QuickBook files are corrupted or destroyed. Anchorage RUBA staff assisted Administrative Assistant Dawayne Constantine with the completion of the codification of their ordinances and providing an electronic file. The ordinances have been edited and the city council approved the amendments. The water plant operator sees that the day-to-day duties of the plant are performed with oversight by the city administrator and mayor. The policy-making body (the city council) is active in making policy for the utility and enforces utility policy. The bookkeeper and manager and operators are adequately trained. The utility has adopted the necessary ordinances to give it the authority to operate. RUBA staff reviewed the city's utility ordinance and all amendments and found it to be adequate. The city council, which acts as the utility board, meets monthly and complies with the Open Meetings Act for all meetings.

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".
No 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 is on the Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list as of April 2014. The system installed baffles in the contact tank over the summer. The chlorine pump is still causing issues. Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation (BBAHC) Remote Maintenance Worker (RMW) trip reports have also indicated that the storage tank overflow drainage needs adjusting as it appears to be eroding the gravel pad foundation. The utility operator's have Small Water System Treated and Wastewater Lagoon certificates effective until December 31, 2016. After the overhaul of the operating plant is completed in the fall, the operators will get additional training on the new system. The primary utility operator gives a verbal operations and management report to the mayor and city administrator at least monthly. The city has a written safety policy and a safety manual that is kept onsite. The administrator gave RUBA staff a copy of the city's safety policy. In addition, the city has a Site Specific Safety Plan and Accident Prevention Plan for their Water System Improvements Project that is 18 pages long which was prepared for the city and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) by Summit Consulting Services, Inc. in June 2008. The utility facilities have not suffered any major problems or outages due to management issues that are unresolved. The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed. The administrator also gave RUBA staff a copy of the 'Water and Sewer Critical Spare Parts List and Inventory' that was updated by the water operator on February 1, 2012, in addition to a copy of the Maintenance Order Request Form that must be submitted and approved by the mayor.