Quarterly Report: 2009, January - March (Q3), Shungnak

Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Shungnak 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Shungnak operates the piped water and sewer system. The City Council is the policy making board for the utility. The water infiltration gallery was destroyed by ice several years ago, and needs replacement. A reservoir is intermitently filled from the Kobuk River. A portable pump fills a 200,000-gallon steel storage tank through 1,110' of buried arctic pipe. Currently, the City has a new 200,000 gallon tank connected to the new water treatment plant. Groundwater wells have proven unsuccessful; however, they are still drilling to find a new groundwater source. Piped water and sewer services are provided to 53 homes (those at the top of the bluff), clinic, school, and community building. Shungnak has a six-inch buried gravity sewage main, which drains into a small, diked lake one-half mile northwest of the city. The sewer main, lift station, and manholes have been replaced last summer. The effluent is chlorinated before discharge. The City worked with the local IRA to complete the fencing around the landfill. The city purchased the fence and the IRA paid workers to installit. ANTHC found funds to complete the new sewage lagoon this summer. The new water tank and treatment plant projects are completed. The City Administrator would like to have a new master plan completed.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Received and reviewed monthly financial reports. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
In talking with the administrator she does not need any assistance at this time but RUBA will try to make a visit this next quarter.
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
24 of 27
Total Score:
51 of 54


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 has passed and adopted a realistic budget. In reviewing her monthly financial report she submits to the council monthly, it shows that she is receiving enough revenue to cover her utility expenses and revenues are above those budgeted and her expenditures are below those budgeted. She provides the council with a monthly report which shows though that she does not have excess funds to cover repair and replacements cots.

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
This city has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it who bills customers monthly. She noted that customers that are past due for february She sent notices to following their customer agreement and ordinances that they cannot be more than two months delinquent or will receive disconnect notices. She also told them that she will be preparing to order fuel for the water plant soon and need them to get their account current. She uses the Northwest Arctic Borough system to a track customer payments, accounts payables, payroll system, cash receipts and cash disbursement system to accurately record revenues and expenses that she transfers onto her monthly financial report once she reconciles her bank account. In order to approve purchases, she uses her monthly financial report, budget and makes sure she has the cash available before 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.
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
According to the current tax lien report, there are no known tax liabilities at this time and she is current with tax reports and 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.
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
She just renewed her workers compensation policy that is posted due to expire 2/27/10. Although they have their legally approved personnel policies, they need to be updated but it does include a written evaluation process, hiring process and probationary period. They update their job descriptions as needed and tie that description to the evaluation. She maintains personnel folders on every employee that contain all the necessary forms including a change rate sheet. The operators attend all training offered by Maniilaq here in Kotzebue and she plans to attend the upcoming QuickBooks accounting software training here in Kotzebue in May.

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.
No The policy making body meets as required.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The council understands that they own the utility and is the policy making body who stays active meeting monthly, except during the summer months, complying with the open meetings act to enforce their utility policy who adopted ordinances to give it authority using the organizational chart. The administrator of twenty years or so is the manager and bookkeeper who is very qualified.

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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
Their operator is certified for water distribution P and treatment 1. They also have an alternate who plans to attend the next training session in Kotzebue in June. They do have a preventative maintenance plan they use for existing sanitation facilities. The operator meets with the administrator weekly providing a report tot he council monthly. The administrator tries to take the time every month to spot check facilities to make sure that maintenance is being completed and reviews all his reports he sends. Since the Maniilaq Remote Maintenance position has been vacant, he has a safety manual but has not held any safety meetings as yet this year but they have not suffered any major problems or outages this year so the utility is operating at the level it was proposed. The operator maintains an inventory and critical spare parts list. She has submitted her consumer confidence report and is not on the SNC list.