Quarterly Report: 2011, January - March (Q3), Pilot Station

Pilot Station 
Eli Jacobson  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Pilot Station 
Assessment Status:
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 sewer 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 sewage 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/sewer lines replaced.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On March 1, 2011 RUBA staff contacted Pilot Station's city clerk and operator. RUBA staff asked about the progress of having the utility backup generator looked at for repairs. They have not been able to get someone to come out who is qualified to evaluate the repairs and cost needed to make the generator operational. The town has only one source of electricity. During this winter, that source of electricity was non-operational at least once for a period of a few hours. If that source of electricity were to become non-operational for a longer period of time during the winter months, the water/wastewater lines could suffer serious damage from a freeze up. This generator, if made operational could be a safeguard against damage to the utility system. RUBA staff contacted the Remote Maintenance Worker Supervisor Brian Lefferts on behalf of Pilot Station and communicated the information about the generator. RUBA staff provided information about QuickBooks training classes to the city clerk during this quarter. On March 17, 2011 a request for information to update the quarterly online RUBA report was sent to the City of Pilot Station.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to work with Pilot Station's staff on the remaining indicators.
Essential Indicators:
23 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
16 of 27
Total Score:
39 of 54


Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No 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.
No 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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
RUBA has not received Pilot Station's monthly financial statements for January, February or March 2011. The City of Pilot Station operates on a calendar fiscal year and has not adopted the 2011 budget. The city clerk stated that this is on the agenda for the next scheduled city meeting on Tuesday May 10, 2011. During this meeting, the requried monthly financial reports will also be examined. However, the city clerk is prompting the city mayor to have a special meeting to get this taken care of sooner. RUBA staff contacted Alaska Village Electric Cooperative on March 16, 2011 and was able to verify that Pilot Station is current on all electric bills. The city clerk orders a year supply of fuel every fall. City council meetings are set for the first Tuesday of each month 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.
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 City of Pilot Station uses a manual system to calculate and report payroll taxes. A form requesting release of federal tax information from January 2008 to December 2010 was sent to the the IRS on March 17, 2011. On March 18, 2011 the IRS verified that City of Pilot Station is current on Federal taxes through December 31, 2011. The Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) was contacted on March 16, 2011. DOL verified 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 January-February 2011.

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
Pilot Station's workers compensation insurance is through the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association, Inc for the period from July 1, 2010 through July 1, 2011. 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-six years of experience and is very organized. Additonally the duties of manager and bookkeeper are performed by the city clerk. The city clerk also supervises the utility clerk and the operator. Both the city clerk and utility clerk are interested in Quickbooks training. They are good candidates and have this writer's recommendation for the training. The operator has been employed for two years and is working on his certifications. The ordinances provide city staff the authority they need for operation of the utility. The organizational structure is informally known however an organizational chart has not 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's operator Rex Nick 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 SNC list. The utility does not have an inventory control, or critical spare parts list.