|As this quarter's financial statements have not been recieved from the new accounting firm, RUBA cannot attest to the community's accounting systems. Until RUBA has direct contact with the current accountant, it is unknown what financial systems are in place and how they are functioning.
The city council adopted a utility ordinance that includes a collections policy on September 24, 2008. The city uses a pay-as-you-go system for water, electricity, and waste costs for residential customers, thus eliminating collections issues for residential customers. However, Saint George has a collections policy in place for commercial customers which has not been consistently enforced; some commercial customers are in arrears.
Utility rates have not been adequately raised to compensate for increased fuel costs. This issue needs to go before the city council, and devoting a portion of each council meeting to utility issues (structural, financial, and visionary) is an essential practice.
Much of the grant funding requested by or expected by Saint George is related to utility projects. The water distribution infrastructure needs attention; sections of the waste distribution system are aging and failing. Alternative energy projects (windmills) are also planned by the community with grant monies in place. The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) intends switching capacity and generator integration with the windmills and the city is poised to complete substantial infrastructure improvements.