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

Community:
Chuathbaluk 
Staff:
Ken Berlin  
DCRA Regional Office:
Bethel regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Chuathbaluk 
Population:
127 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Pending 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/7/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is pumped from a 105-foot well into a storage tank, then treated and hauled from this point by residents. A washeteria is available. The school has its own watering point, and some homes have individual wells, but most have complete plumbing. Honeybuckets and privies are used by some residents for waste disposal. A water and sewer Master Plan has been completed. Repairs to the pump house, water treatment, washeteria, school sewage lagoon and other components have been funded. Refuse is collected weekly. The Middle Kuskokwim Electric Co-op provides power from Chuathbaluk to Stony River. Electricity is provided by Middle Kuskokwim Electric Cooperative. Currently, 24 residential homes, health clinic and high school are hooked up to the new piped water and wastewater system. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
In April, RUBA staff received a request from a new City of Chuathbaluk council member for information related to the roles and responsibilities of city council members. RUBA staff provided her with DCRA's website with highlights to the roles and responsibilities of city council members. RUBA staff also recommended the city council members attend one of the training sessions provided by the RUBA program. On June 18, RUBA staff traveled to Chuathbaluk to assist the city mayor and council members with personnel and financial management issues. The city operates the community's piped water and wastewater utility. The city manager has not reported to work for over a month and the bookkeeper has not come to work for about the same time. Both the city manager and bookkeeper were terminated. The city mayor received a letter from a grants administrator concerning a legislative grant. The city did not submit financial and progress reports for the last two quarters and is in danger of losing the grant. RUBA staff trained city staff on how to file the missing reports. RUBA staff discovered the city had not filed 941 quarterly reports to IRS for the first and fourth quarter of 2012, the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, but the payroll tax deposits were made correctly until the first quarter of 2014. RUBA staff assisted with completing the missing 941 quarterly reports. Further, RUBA staff called the IRS and spoke with an agent concerning the missing reports. Following the on-site, RUBA staff, at the mayor’s request, send the city a purchase order system ordinance sample for their use to develop their own ordinance to assist the city mayor in getting more control on how the city orders supplies and equipment.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Follow up trip is scheduled to training the new city manager and bookkeeper when hired. Also to work with the city council on administration and finances of the water and wastewater system. A RUBA assessment is also planned before the end of the second quarter of FY15.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
22 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
25 of 27
Total Score:
47 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.
No 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 FY 2014 budget is balanced and adopted. Monthly financial reports are current to March 2014, with meeting minutes. The city is powered by the Middle Kuskokwim Electrical Cooperative, but the April 1, 2014 billings showed the city is delinquent. The city is working with MKEC on a payment plan. City has enough fuel on hand for resale and fuel for the city facilities. When fuel gets low the city buys fuel from Aniak which is only a few miles down river from Chuathbaluk. LGS staff contacted Ms. Sullivan, LGS concerning the city of Chuathbaluk and the status of their Bulk Fuel Revolving Loan from last year. She said the city is behind two months payments and is now applying for a new loan to purchase fuel for this year. She said she needs finance reports for the new loan and to pay off current loan before the new loan can be approved. The city water and wastewater system is subsidized with Community Revenue Sharing and PILT funds.

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.
No 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
A water and sewer ordinance with a collection policy was passed by the city council on July 12, 2005 and is on file with RUBA. The city manager has been using QuickBooks software program to keep track of all expenses for the community. The city is keeping track of all their incoming cash using the NEBS cash receipt system (manual system). The NEBS cash receipt system has been a very useful tool for the staff to keep track of all incoming funds. The accounts receivables and payables are all in QuickBooks. The cash disbursements are all in QuickBooks. The city staff reconciles their bank accounts using the QuickBooks program software each month. A purchase order system ordinance sample was send to the city for their use to develop their own ordinance. This request was made by the city mayor to get more control on how the city orders supplies and equipment.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
No The utility is current on filing tax reports.
No 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 payroll and reporting system is in QuickBooks. The IRS deemed the city non-compliant on June 25, 2014 for missing 941 quarterly reports: 2012/03; 2012/12; 2013/12. Also taxpayer owes back taxes for the following: 2012/06; 2013/03; 2013/06; and 2014/03. State DOL/ESC confirmed compliance with a credit balance of $7506.00 as of June 24, 2014. No recorded tax liens on the March-April lien watch. The city is working the IRS on resolving the issues and the missing 941 quarterly reports have been filed and the city is working on a repayment plan.

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
The City has insurance coverage with AML/JIA effective to July 2014. The city has adopted a personnel policy which was developed with Summit Consulting Services, Inc. in 2004 and it covers the written job descriptions for the positions in the city including the hiring process,evaluations, personnel files, probationary period, training of staff, and termination and grievance process.

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.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No 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
A water and sewer ordinance was passed by the Council on July 12, 2005 and is on file with RUBA. The city manager and the bookkeeper were terminated in mid June 2014. Job openings have been posted. A temporary clerk/bookkeeper was hired, but she has no bookkeeping or QuickBooks experience. Once the permanent city manager and bookkeeper's positions are filled a training assessment will be conducted for both positions. The utility is owned by the city of Chuathbaluk and the policy making board is the city council. The city council is active in making policies and enforcing them. The main operator is certified in Water Distribution Provisional, Wastewater Collection Provisional, and Wastewater Treatment Provisional. The city has an organizational chart, the city council meets on the first Tuesday of every month and the meeting are open to the public.

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
The Chuathbaluk water system a Class Small Treated system. The primary and backup operators both have certifications as required by the water and wastewater system. The main operator is certified in Water Distribution Provisional, Wastewater Collection Provisional, and Wastewater Treatment Provisional. The city's CCR report is on file and the SNC report April did not list Chuathbaluk's system.