Quarterly Report: 2011, July - September (Q1), 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:
215  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
2/2/2011 
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 sewer system. The new school was completed in August 2009 and is connected to the city's water and sewer system. The City has also requested funding to relocate the landfill. The current site is not permitted. The City is waiting on the Village Corporation to transfer the 1280 acres that will become the City's land site. Until this transfer is completed, the location of new landfill site cannot be determined.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
At the recommendations of Nome RUBA staff, White Mountain Utilities initiated the small claims procedures for water and sewer past due accounts, starting with past due dates that are near the seven-year statute of limitations. The utility clerk sent in the small claims paperwork to the State of Alaska Magistrate's office in Nome to process. The strategy is once the city gets judgment in its favor, the city will pursue to claim part of the past due account holders for part of their Permanent Fund Dividends each year until all are paid off. The City of White Mountain signed a RUBA assistance agreement in June 2010. Shortly after there was a cvacancy and recruitment process for RUBA staff, therefore the quarterly onsite assistance was not provided. A new RUBA staff memeber started employment in December and will schedule a visit to White Mountain in January 2011 to resume onsite management assistance. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff will work with the utility to update its water and sewer utilty ordinance and its job descriptions for all its employees in the next quarter.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
48 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
The city passed its FY11 budget, which includes the water and sewer utility department on time (before the end of the fiscal year). RUBA staff made some recommendations to pursue past due accounts, especially the ones that are close to the seven-year statute of limitations. The utility clerk will submit to small claims court all or most of the other past dues for collections in the near future. The city purchased fuel oil using funds from Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation's Community Benefits Share Program. The heating oil supply ordered is adequate for the winter, although the barge that was going up the Fish River to deliver the city's fuel got stuck for a couple of days just a couple of hundred yards downriver from the city. The barge managed to get itself unstuck and was able to deliver the fuel for the city.

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 clerk is proficient in the use of QuickBooks Pro. She regularly bills the water and sewer customers. Some of the past due water and sewer accounts have been submitted to small claims court. The utility clerk makes fairlycomprehensive monthly financial reports using QuickBooks Pro and Excel Spreadsheet. Payroll and payroll records are calculated and tracked using QuickBooks Pro.

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 is current with filing all tax reports and tax deposits. All tax reports and electronic deposits are completed using QuickBooks Pro. The use of Quickbooks Pro makes the reporting much quicker and easier to do and both the city and utility department take advantage of this to the city's advantage.

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.
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 utility is current with its coverage of general liability insurance and workers compensation with the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA). The utility does not have written job descriptions for all current positions. The utility still uses a generic evaluation form for all it's employees, one not really tied to the job description.

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 council does try to enforce the utility policies as much as it can. It took a while for the utility to implement, but it has now taken some of the past due accounts to small claims court. The utility is putting itself in excellent position to collect some or most of the past due accounts, although some of them may not ever be collected because of deaths, moves and/or other factors. The city council acts as the utility board. This coming municipal election, on 1st Tuesday of October, there will be three city council vacancies on ballot.

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
No 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.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility continues to hold safety meetings with and for its employees. The RUBA staff continues to recommend to the utility clerk and mayor that utility employees should attend AML/JIA sponsored safety meetings by teleconference. The manager does not receive a monthly operations and maintenance report. The utility does not maintain an inventory control list or a critical spare parts list.