Quarterly Report: 2014, April - June (Q4), Clark's Point

Community:
Clark's Point 
Staff:
Jedediah Smith  
DCRA Regional Office:
Dillingham regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Clark's Point 
Population:
54 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment N/A 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/7/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Spring-fed wells provide water to the community. Roughly 80 percent of residents are connected to the piped water system; the remainder use individual wells. Approximately 40 percent of homes and the school -- those located on the bluff -- are served by a piped gravity wastewater system. Residents with homes at the lower village site utilize wastewater tanks or pit privies. Roughly 21 homes have piped water and wastewater. The city operates utilities including water/wastewater, bulk fuel, and electricity. The school reportedly operates a back-up electric generator when necessary. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff traveled to Clark’s Point on June 25 to assist the city council with the preparation of an FY15 utility budget and an FY13 Certified Financial Statement. The Clark’s Point City Council has not had a regular election in several years, and has been operating on budget information that is at least five years old. The Clark’s Point City Council intends to hire a new city clerk as soon as possible. RUBA staff delivered resources on utility management and elections for the new clerk whenever the position is filled. RUBA staff will be available to assist the clerk and members of the council as necessary. While on-site, RUBA staff met with worked with two council members to review and prepare a draft budget for the city. The budget is significantly scaled back from previous budgets in order to remain in balance. Stipends to council members were eliminated completely, and the city will pay a part time clerk for 15 hours per week. Prior operating budgets were vague and relied on unrealistic revenue numbers. For example, as an enterprise, the electric utility revenues comprised a significant amount of the city’s operating budget, and the city was not collecting revenue for water and wastewater service. In May, under a memorandum of agreement, the Clark’s Point Village Council took over the management of the electric utility from the city, which will continue to operate the water utility. The city will need assistance with bookkeeping. A power surge last fall wiped out the city’s QuickBooks file. RUBA staff recognizes that setting up a new file will be a time consuming process. RUBA staff returned to Anchorage with financial material including bank statements, employee payroll records and invoices and bills paid to the city. RUBA staff with the assistance of the QuickBooks hotline, will rebuild a file that will enable the council to prepare and pass a certified financial statement for FY13 and ease the transition for the new clerk. RUBA staff will remain in contact with the community regarding the municipal election in October. All seats will be up for re-election and seats will be staggered. Once a new clerk and council are in place, RUBA staff will prepare elected officials and clerk training for the community. A memorandum of agreement was signed between the Clark's Point Village Council and the Clark's Point City Council regarding the operation of the electric utility. Under the new management agreement, the Village Council will assume the responsibility of applying for the bulk fuel loans from the state. The village council added AMPY pre-paid electric meters and is developing the policies and procedures to operate the electric utility. On June 5, Anchorage RUBA staff met with staff from the Alaska Energy Authority regarding the Clark’s Point wind energy project and other project funding opportunities. Clark’s Point is currently planning to move forward with a wind energy project using Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation funding. However, according to AEA officials, the wind project will likely not integrate properly with the current power generating facility, which has aged out and needs to be upgraded. AEA officials are concerned that, if the wind project is built as scheduled, later this summer, it will not perform as expected and further state involvement will be requested by the community. AEA officials said they are working on a plan that includes a list of community capacity indicators, which, if met, would make the community eligible for power plant upgrades that would make the wind project successful. AEA officials also recommended power plant operator training for the community. RUBA staff is concerned about energy consumption in the community because the water treatment plant, owned by the city, is a heavy consumer of electricity, and currently the city is not collecting enough revenue to pay the electric utility bill. AEA also provided RUBA staff with a list of resources for funding projects that are energy related. This is of interest to RUBA staff because many communities struggle with the high cost of energy, have a difficult time generating the capital cost for new projects, and use Power Cost Equalization subsidies to pay for other services such as sanitation.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will work with the city council and clerk to hold an election in October. Additionally, the community has requested assistance with codification of ordinances and rebuilding the utility company file.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
0 of 25
Sustainable Indicators:
0 of 25
Total Score:
0 of 50

Finances

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.
N/A 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
In May, the Clark's Point Village Council added a $30 per month fee onto electricty AMPY cards for customers that have piped water service. This money is being collected on behalf of the city, which operates and maintains the water treatment plant. RUBA staff will recommend a rate increase in the near future, after a rate study has been completed.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
No An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts.
No An accounts payable system is in place.
No The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
No A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent.
No The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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
There is no accounting system in place and no staff to maintain a cash receipt journal or an accounts payable system. RUBA staff will assist the community in rebuilding the QuickBooks company file.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A 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
The City of Clark's Point has a recorded tax lien. According to the IRS Tax Payer Advocate Service, the City has not filed or deposited employment taxes since at least 2011. The city did file for the first quarter of 2013.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A 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.
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.
No The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
Currently there are no hired personnel for the City of Clark's Point.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
No 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.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
Currently the local government is being run by a volunteer staff.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
No 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.
No 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.
N/A The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed.
No 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
The utility is being operated by an employee that works one hour per day. Clark's Point is on the Significant non-complier list due to failure to submit water samples and failure to test for nitrate, lead, copper and VOCs.