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

Eli Jacobson  
DCRA Regional Office:
Bethel regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Nunapitchuk 
551 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Nunapitchuk operates the washeteria, water treatment plant, garbage collection, landfill/lagoon, and the flush haul system for the community. The utility services provide water deliveries and wastewater haul-out to residential customers connected to the flush haul system. Those not connected to the flush haul utilize the container haul system. Wastewater containers are emptied into one of two wastewater lagoons, one on each side of the river. The city provides piped water to the school. Teacher's housing, located in the old school, has an independent water and wastewater system that still needs improvements. Plans are underway for a piped watering point for the other half of the community located on the other side of the river. There are also plans to close and fill in the old sewage bunkers and lagoon.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On May 13, RUBA staff traveled to Nunapitchuk and met the city clerk and bookkeeper to discuss the budget and monthly financial reports. The city clerk has been using an Excel spreadsheet for the city budget and monthly financial reports. RUBA staff modified the Excel spreadsheet that contained the budget and monthly financial report. No changes were made to the budget amounts, just the formatting. Several changes were made to the monthly financial report section. The spreadsheet contained several tabs which were condensed down to just one. Expenses and revenue line items were organized into departments that better reflect where the expenses and revenue occur. Line items that didn’t reflect budgeted amounts or have any associated revenue or expense were deleted. Modifications were made to line items separating workman’s compensation and general liability into more accurate percentages for each department. This process was overseen by the clerk who gave regular input. RUBA staff with the clerk explained the changes to the council. The council was concerned with generating revenue and billing enforcement. The council wants to generate revenue from the landfill, and the dock. RUBA staff suggested creating a flat rate user fee ordinance. The council was also concerned about collection of delinquent accounts, in particular for jail surcharges. The council discussed docking a percentage of gaming winnings as a possible enforcement method, because many people who have the delinquent accounts participate in bingo and pull tabs. The city has been selling up to 1,500 gallons of heating fuel at cost each year to three nonprofit organizations. RUBA staff suggested that the city could sell that fuel at slight mark up to cover storage and delivery cost. Finally, RUBA staff spoke to the city about adopting a tobacco excise tax which could be used to subsidize water utility rates. The city has a 4 percent sales tax, but no excise tax on tobacco, which is sold in the local store. The council made plans to discuss these matters further at the next council meeting. On June 16, RUBA staff provided additional assistance with writing an ordinance.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to work with the city on the remaining indicator and provide other assistance as requested.
Essential Indicators:
25 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
15 of 27
Total Score:
40 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.
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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city has adopted a balanced and realistic FY14 budget. The meeting minutes do not reflect distribution of the monthly financials to the governing body. On March 19, 2014 Alaska Village Electric Cooperative communicated that the City of Nunapitchuk is current on electric bills. The utility has a one-year supply of heating fuel. The city does not have a repair and replacement fund established. Year-to-date revenues are above budget, but year-to-date expenditures are also below budget. A monthly manager's report has not been submitted to the council. The council meets on the second and fourth Mondays but necessary amendments to the budget have not been made.

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 Nunapitchuk has an adopted collection policy. Billing statements are sent to customers on the first of the month. Ledgers are used to track customer accounts and these ledgers are then entered into QuickBooks. All Nunapitchuk vendor files are kept in a file cabinet. The files record how much money is being paid to each vendor monthly. QuickBooks is used for payroll. All incoming and outgoing money is recorded on ledgers and then also entered into QuickBooks. The city's chart of accounts is in QuickBooks. The city clerk reconciles the bank accounts monthly. The city clerk can approve purchase of fuel less than eight gallons for city vehicles. All other purchases require the mayor's approval.

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
On July 1, 2014 the IRS deemed the City of Nunapitchuk compliant on federal tax filings and deposits. On July 2, 2014 the State Department of Labor verified that the City of Nunapitchuk is current on their Employment Security Contributions account. The City of Nunapitchuk is not in the Lien Watch dated March-April 2014.

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.
No The utility has an adequate written hiring process.
No 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
Nunapitchuk’s workers compensation insurance covers the period from July 1, 2013 through July 1, 2014. A personnel policy has been adopted and is in use. The utility has written job descriptions for all positions. A copy of the city clerk position was provided as a sample. The utility does not have a written hiring process. Personnel folders do not include I-9's, job applications, and letters of acceptance for every employee. The utility has a 90-day probationary period with an evaluation at the end. On-the-job training and additional training opportunities are provided as necessary. Staff are encouraged to pursue further training opportunities.

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
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 City of Nunapitchuk owns the utility and the city council is the policy making body. The policy is enforced by denying customers service that owe over $100. The city clerk was hired September 2012 and performs managerial duties. The city clerk supervises the bookkeeper and the operator. The operator has been employed since December 2012 and is being sent to training. The ordinances provide the city staff the authority they need for operation. The organizational structure is informally known, but an organizational chart has not been adopted. The policy making body meets the second and fourth Monday of each month, which is open to the public. The city clerk posts meeting notices in eight public places five days in advance.

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
No 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.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility's operator is a permanent part-time employee. The operator has been sent to training and has plans for additional training. The utility has a written preventative maintenance plan. The city clerk is in daily contact with the utility operator, but does not spot check the facility. The utility does not have a safety manual or hold regular safety meetings. The utility is functioning as intended and no major outages have occurred. The operator provides verbal reports to city clerk. The 2012 CCR is posted in the community washeteria. The city is not on the SNC list dated April 2014. The utility does not have an inventory control, or critical spare parts list.