Quarterly Report: 2012, July - September (Q1), Noorvik

Georgianna Phillips  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Noorvik 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is pumped from the Kobuk River to the water treatment/utility building, and stored in a tank. From there, a pressurized circulating system distributes water in utilidors. Groundwater wells have proven unsuccessful. Noorvik has a vacuum sewer system in which waste is carried by air instead of water. Vacuum pressure pumps the sewage to the 60,000-gal. collection and treatment plant. The system requires special toilets and water valves which collect wastewater from the sinks, toilets and showers. Over 100 homes, the schools and businesses are served. Funds have been requested to connect and plumb the remaining 16 unserved homes on the south side of town and along River Road. A new landfill and access road is under development. Funds have also been requested to construct a multi-purpose facility, including a new washeteria, recreation center, Head Start, day care center, a restaurant, Native Crafts production and a food processing plant. The community is interested in using wind energy.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Since February 2011 the city has hired their third finance officer. The city is still struggling financially and need to keep on top of expenditures. The equipment lease for a project done by the Native Village of Noorvik has afforded them to meet payroll and to pay off a few smaller past due bills. The city still past due their fuel loan, no payments have been made on the fuel loan since January, 2011. The city has been able to obtain their insurance through AMLJIA based on payments from State Revenue Sharing and the supplement payment. The council had passed a resolution assigning their revenue sharing funds to pay for the past due insurance and the current year. On July 27 RUBA staff traveled to Noorvik to assist the city clerk with organizing Code of Ordinances and budget concerns. While onsite RUBA staff attended a council work session.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The City Council voted to go full ARUC in May, 2011. As of June 1, 2011 ARUC has begun billing and management of the water plant and system. The city clerk and finance officer have requested that RUBA staff assist in organizing and updating sales tax records. Currently the Gaming Division of the city has not filed all their sales tax for 2010 and 2011 to date. RUBA staff is reviewing and providing assistance towards collecting those amounts. The Northwest Arctic Borough obtained a Legislative grant for the City of Noorvik to construct a storage shed and shop. No construction has been initiated at this time.
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
25 of 26
Total Score:
52 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.
N/A Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The City of Noorvik has adopted a balanced realistic budget listing all revenues and expenses of the utility, With current staff in place, the finance officer has been able to develop reports for the council. The administrator is and has given reports to the council on the day to day activities and financial information. The city has had financial problems and has been able to pay most past due bills with AVEC. They are aggressively working to collect all past due bills for water, sewer and garbage. Many customers have filed with the city an Assignment for their PFD's.

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 city utilizes QuickBooks with an accounts receivable system in place to track customers accounts. A temporary hire was charged with working on collections of past due accounts and offering customers the ability to assign their PFD's to their past due amounts. All of the accounts before joining ARUC are being pursued for full payment. Quickbooks also provides them with an accurate accounts payable system, payroll system to calculate payroll, cash receipts system and a cash disbursements system.

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 uses QuickBooks which accurately calculates, tracks, and report payroll tax liabilities, and they are current in filing tax reports, and have satisfied their past due IRS debts. Current year taxes have been kept up and the IRS has issued a lien release for the city.

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 of Noorvik has renewed their insurance with AMLJIA under agreements by resolution to pay the past due amount with their revenue sharing and with the supplemental payment to pay for the current fiscal year. The city has requested assistance in updating their personnel policies and code. They do have an adequate hiring process as well. They do have updated job descriptions on file. Due to numerous staff turnover and change in council, the city has not been able to follow through with their personnel policies on evaluations. For the new hires, RUBA staff worked with city staff in ensuring that all employees filed their I-9's.

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 is the known entity by ordinance who owns the utility and has joined ARUC June 1, 2011.

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".
No 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 administrator/Mayor does receive the operations and maintenance report from the operator and routinely spot checks the facilities including meeting with their engineer and reviewing the water monitoring summary with the operator to make sure they are sent in timely. Operators provided a safety checklist and manuals but no safety meetings have been held. The Utility has not suffered any major problems that are unresolved so they are operating at the level proposed and have completed their consumer confidence report. They are currently on the SNC list because they are still struggling with TT violations for turbidity and had a first draw action level exceedance that has been resolved.