Quarterly Report: 2013, October - December (Q2), White Mountain

Community:
White Mountain 
Staff:
Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of White Mountain 
Population:
199  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
2/8/2013 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well near the Fish River and is treated. All households and facilities are connected to the piped water and wastewater system. The school was completed in August 2009 and is connected to the city's water and wastewater system. The city has requested funding to relocate the landfill; the current site is not permitted. The city is waiting for the village corporation to transfer the 1280 acres that will become the city's land. Until this transfer is completed, the location of a new landfill site cannot be determined.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
At the request of the White Mountain city clerk and council, RUBA staff traveled to White Mountain to review some of the water and wastewater finances and meet with the city council to discuss RUBA program's role in management of the water and wastewater utility. RUBA staff listened to the utility clerk make an activity report to the city council. She provided a comprehensive and complete financial report and management report about current issues to the city council. RUBA staff gave a report and answered questions from the council members regarding the RUBA program. The city council asked for assistance to update and revise the utility ordinances. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will keep in contact with the city and utility clerk via telephone while working with them on the update and revision of the city's code of ordinances, including the water and wastewater ordinance. The city council just wants a generic code and not make any changes except for reformatting the ordinances.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
26 of 27
Total Score:
53 of 54

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
All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the FY13 utility budget. The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget. Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board. The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills. The city has adequate fuel. The city has about 103,000 gallons of diesel fuel for its electric plant and water and wastewater plants. The fuel is sufficient for the winter. The city usually orders fuel in late fall or approximately September each year.

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 utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it. The utility bills customers on a regular basis. An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts. 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. The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent.

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 utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities. IRS and Department of Labor has reported the utility is current on filing tax reports and making tax deposits.

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.
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
The workers compensation insurance is purchased through Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association and valid until July 1, 2013. The Notice of Insurance is posted in plain view in the city office. The city has a comprehensive personnel policy. The city personnel system is designed to ensure that employment with the city and its public utilities are in accordance with the code of ordinances. Recruitment, selection, advancement, and retention of employees are based upon merit. The utility has personnel folders on every employee but none of them have an Form I-9. The utility clerk reported that people in rural Alaska often cannot obtain identification documents, such as a social security card, driver license or passport, because of the high cost associated with travel to cities where such documents could be obtained. In the absence of any such documents, people are not able to start the process of getting identification. To comply with the Form I-9, employees need to provide such documents. In the past, RUBA staff recommended the utility update its written job description for all positions. The utility clerk made the necessary updates and asked the city council to review and adopt the new job descriptions. The utility clerk attends and takes classes to improve on her work performance.

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 entity that owns the utility is known and is active in policy making of the utility. The utility has an adequately trained manager, operator, and bookkeeper. The utility has adopted the necessary ordinances to give it the authority to operate. The utility clerk continues to work part-time as she has come back from an extended leave of absence. She works from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Monday - Friday. She is expecting to work full time soon.

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".
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
According to the Division of Water Alaska Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database, the backup operator has a Water Distribution Provisional and Water Treatment Provisional certificate that will expire December 2014. The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing sanitation facilities.