Quarterly Report: 2014, October - December (Q2), Pilot Station

Pilot Station 
Eli Jacobson  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Pilot Station 
568 (2012 DCCED certified estimate) 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Pilot Station operates the water and wastewater system. Most of the residential customers are now connected to the community's piped water and wastewater system, as well as the city, tribal, and Headstart buildings. The treatment station has two independent circulatory water lines controlled from the pump house. A few occupied houses which are old were not able to be connected to the system due to their condition. The wastewater is piped into a lagoon that is located in the center of town. Relocation of the landfill/lagoon is being proposed. They are also attempting to get the older water/wastewater pipelines replaced. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On October 29, Bethel RUBA staff traveled to Pilot Station to conduct a RUBA assessment for the city of pilot Station. The city has a water treatment plant with water waste/water lines. The water operator gave Bethel staff a tour of the water treatment plant. The water operator is also the mayor and performs management duties for the city. RUBA staff met with the mayor, city clerk, and utility clerk to gather documentation needed for the assessment. The water treatment plant has a backup generator that is currently not functional. RUBA staff and the mayor contacted an RMW for suggestions on who to call for generator repair help. The RMW provided contact information and a call was made to a generator repair company and a message was left. RUBA staff encouraged the mayor to make the generator repair a priority, as the town frequently loses power. The power losses are usually short in duration, but a prolonged outage could severely damage the utility. On November 5, 2013 the Pilot Station mayor called RUBA staff with questions about executive sessions during city meetings. RUBA staff went over how and why executive sessions are called and provided a copy of the open meetings act with the sections pertaining to executive sessions highlighted.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to provide assistance to the community as requested.
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
44 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.
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
No 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 City of Pilot Station operates on a calendar fiscal year and has adopted a balanced 2013 budget. Monthly reports have been provided. RUBA staff contacted Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC). AVEC communicated that the City of Pilot Station is current on electric bills. The city clerk orders a year supply of fuel every fall. The utility is subsidized by the city budget. The utility does not have a repair and replacement fund. Year to date revenues are above what was budgeted and expenditures are below what was budgeted. Monthly manager's reports are prepared and budget amendments are adopted as necessary.

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
Pilot Station uses a detailed manual system for all of its accounting. Pilot Station has a written and adopted utility collection policy, which they are enforcing. Customers are billed on a regular basis. Accounts receivable is done manually with cash separated from checks on different ledgers. Accounts payable is also manually maintained. A receipt book is used for all customer payments. Receipts are given directly or sent out for payments received. The receipt book is then used to enter into the transactions on the ledgers. Pilot Station provided bank reconciliations. A sample purchase order was also provided.

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 November 7, 2013 the IRS deemed the City of Pilot Station compliant on Federal taxes. The Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) was contacted and stated that the City of Pilot Station is current on their Employment Security Contributions account. The City of Pilot Station is not on the Lien Watch dated July-August 2013.

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.
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.
No 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 Pilot Station has a worker's compensation insurance policy that covers the period July 1, 2013 through July 1, 2014. A personnel policy has been adopted and is in use. Some components should be added to the personnel policy such as written job descriptions, personnel evaluations, and the hiring process. Personnel folders that include I-9's, job application, and letters of acceptance should also be created. A probationary period for new employees should be established and practiced. On-the-job training and additional training is 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
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 Pilot Station owns the water treatment plant. City council acts as the policy making body and makes sure the policy is enforced. The utility is operated by city employees. The city clerk has twenty-eight years of experience and is very organized. Additionally the duties of manager and bookkeeper are performed by the city clerk. The city clerk also supervises the utility clerk and the operator. The operator has been employed for four years and is working on his certifications. The ordinances provide city staff the authority they need for operation of the utility. An organizational chart has been adopted. The policy making body is scheduled to meet the first Tuesday of each month which is open to the public. Meetings are posted in the post office, city office and Native store.

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.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility operator is a permanent part-time employee. The operator has been sent to provisional training but did not pass the first time, however he is being sent again. The utility operator provided a copy of the preventative maintenance plan which has a daily check list. The city clerk is in daily contact with the utility operator. The utility should create a safety manual and hold regular safety meetings. The utility is functioning as intended and no major outages have occurred. The CCR has been posted and a copy has been provided to RUBA. The city is not on the November 2013 significant non-compliers list. The utility does not have an inventory control, or critical spare parts list.