Quarterly Report: 2013, July - September (Q1), Saint Michael

Saint Michael 
Iura Leahu  
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 five 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 wastewater service, and residential plumbing to the homes in the community. At present, 99% of the homes are served by the 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.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Alaska Rural Utilities Collaborative (ARUC) provides full management and operation services to the city's water and wastewater utility. On August 22, Nome LGS staff attended a public meeting in St. Michael. The key topic of the meeting was the construction of a consolidated fuel storage facility, which would resolve the problem of fuel storage in St. Michael, including the water and wastewater system. Since Crowley closed its business and the fuel tanks in St. Michael, the community has experienced shortage of fuel and had to fly in fuel in the spring at prices as high as $11.00 per gallon. In response, the Alaska Energy Authority represented by David Lockard, lead engineer of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), and Jeff Stanley, civil engineer of Engineering Croup LLC CRW, traveled to St. Michael to present to the community an overview of the Energy Program funded by the Denali Commission. The community learned about the Energy Program which funds design and construction of replacement bulk fuel storage facilities. At the meeting, leaders and residents of the community were asked to make recommendations on a list of participants in the project, such as the municipal government, tribal government and/or the native corporation, the role each of these entities would play in the project, the location of the new bulk fuel storage facility, and the current and future fuel needs of the community. The AIDEA lead engineer spoke about the private enterprise policy regarding St. Michael Fuel Company and possible adverse effects of bulk fuel storage facility on the private business. Before the public meeting, AIDEA and CRW engineers and Nome LGS staff surveyed all public and private fuel storage facilities in the community, including the school fuel tanks, St. Michael Fuel Company tanks, city-owned fuel tanks, and AVEC fuel storage tanks. LGS staff had a brief meeting with the city clerk and administrator to present DCRA support to local municipalities, including by not limited to administrative, personnel, and the day-today management of local governments and public utilities. LGS staff also reminded the city staff that DCRA staff provides onsite advice and assistance at the request of municipalities.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to monitor ARUC reports and provide assistance as requested.
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
27 of 27
Total Score:
53 of 53


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
ARUC provides the community and RUBA staff monthly finance reports comparing year-to-date, monthly, and annually budgeted revenues and expenditures for the utility. The fiscal year for Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) starts on October 1 and ends on September 30 the following year, same as the federal fiscal year. ARUC passed its budget for the water and wastewater department before the beginning of the FFY and is now implementing it. For the federal fiscal year (FFY) '12, beginning on October 1, 2011, ARUC budgeted expected water and wastewater revenues at $309,278, with the expenditures at $296,340. For the month of May, 2012, ARUC's St. Michael collection rate was 99 percent.

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
ARUC water/wastewater ordinance contains a collection policy section. ARUC manages utility billing, accounts payable, receivable, and payroll processing.

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.
N/A 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's utility is managed by ARUC who is responsible for accurately calculating, tracking, and reporting payroll tax liabilities. On October 3, 2012, RUBA staff received confirmation via email correspondence from the IRS and Department of Labor that ARUC is current with all tax reports and deposits. There is a tax lien filed against the City of St. Michael. Nome RUBA staff has encouraged the city continue to keep an open line with IRS and other vendors the city owes.

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 utility's worker's compensation insurance policy is provided through ARUC. The city council is in the process of revising its personnel policies. RUBA staff provided on-site assistance to the city council and staff and made recommendations on how it can go through the 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.
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 has a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with ARUC to operate its utility. Through the MOA, ARUC has the authority to set rates, ordinances, policies, and procedures for the utility. The municipal election was held with no major issues by the newly rehired city clerk, Richard Elachik. Mayor Milton Cheemuk was re-elected as mayor. The city council acts as the utility board.

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
ARUC manages the city's utility operator(s) and has a preventative maintenance plan in place for the utility. RUBA staff verified that as of April, 2012, the city is not on the Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list. The city clerk has completed the 2011 CCR.