Quarterly Report: 2008, July - September (Q1), Saint Michael

Saint Michael 
Melissa Taylor  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of St. Michael 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Currently, water is pumped from Clear Lake, approximately 5 miles north of the community and stored in a 1.2 million gallon water storage tank. The water is then pumped from the 1.2 million gallon tank, filtered, disinfected, and stored in a 400,000-gallon water storage tank for consumption. Wastewater is collected at the vacuum plant and pumped via forcemain to a wastewater treatment area northeast of the community. A new sanitation system was completed during the summer of 2005 to provide piped water and vacuum sewer service, and residential plumbing to the homes in the community. At present, 99% of the homes are served by the new system. A washeteria upgrade was completed in 2004 that completely renovated the washeteria. The water treatment plant is under renovation to meet compliance with the Surface Water Treatment Rule and is expected to be completed in 2007.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff traveled to St. Micheal this quarter to provide training to City personnel and to provide technical assistance to the Bookkeeper regarding the City's financial status. Saint Michael has not recovered from the fuel shortage it experienced last winter and is again in arrears with the Internal Revenue Service. The City paid off its fuel loan from the Bridge Loan Program with this year's Community Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) monies.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Upon the City's request, Nome RUBA staff traveled to Saint Michael twice this quarter to provide technical assistance and training. RUBA anticipates more trips to Saint Micheal this year to address the City's finacial situation and utilities issues.
Essential Indicators:
15 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
7 of 27
Total Score:
22 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.
No The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
No 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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
ANTHC has transfered ownership of the sanitation system to the City. The ANTHC project had been paying for fuel and electricity costs associated with the vacuum plant, washeteria, and water treatment plant. The City did plan appropriately and did not adopt an appropriate budget to support these activities. Recently, the computer containing the City's financial data crashed. The data is unrecoverable, which will result in manual reconstruction of the City's finances. The Bookkeeper is still maintaining a manual bookkeeping system.

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.
No 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
In June 2005, the City joined the ANTHC/DSO billing program. This has added consistency to their billing and collection process. The City Bookkeeper is responsible for accounts payable, receivable and payroll for the City. The City uses a manual and computerized accounting system. The Bookkeeper utilizes two computers with different versions of QuickBooks software. The majority of the City's financial data was on a Gateway computer. The data still on the QuickBooks Pro 1999 version was lost before it could be tranferred to the 2005 QuickBooks on the newer computer.

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.
No 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
Saint Michael is staying current with their payroll taxes but will have to develop a plan to pay back past due taxes.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No The utility has a probationary period for new hires that includes orientation, job training/oversight, and evaluations.
No The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
The City has insurance coverage through the Alaska Municipal League/Joint Insurance Association and is in good standing. The City has not finalized their personnel policies at this time.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
No The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
No 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.
No The utility has adopted the necessary ordinances (or rules and regulations) necessary to give it the authority to operate.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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 City of Saint Michael is the policy making body that owns the water and sewer utility and washeteria. The City Council adopted an amended utility ordinance on January 10, 2006. The utility has two operators that are adequately trained, however more training will need to be diligently pursued with the upgraded system. The City notified the public that the utility rates would be increased effective 8/1/07. However, it is not known at this time whether the rate increase will be sufficient to sustain the utility.

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.
No Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
No 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.
No The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
No 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
At this time, the preventative maintenance plan consists of operators utilizing daily maintenance checklists for the vacuum plant, washeteria and temporary water treatment plant. Monthly O and M reports are prepared and submitted to the City Council.