Quarterly Report: 2012, October - December (Q2), Wales

Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Wales 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Two new groundwater wells have been drilled and a pumphouse and watering point enclosure are needed. Currently, water is derived from Gilbert Creek during the summer, and residents haul treated water from a 500,000-gal. storage tank at the washeteria. Some residents use untreated water from Village Creek. Almost all residents use honeybuckets, and very few homes currently have plumbing. A honey bucket haul system is in place. The school and clinic are served by piped water. There are two wastewater systems - one for the school and a second for teacher's housing, the clinic, and the city building. A master plan to implement a piped system has been completed. There is no permit for the landfill. Village Safe Water is applying for sanitation grants for the community to upgrade the washeteria. The new facility will most likely be a multi-purpose facility to include the washeteria, water plant, and a new clinic. The condemned City dome will probably be torn down and its location used for the new multi-purpose facility. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Nome RUBA staff has maintained open communication with the community. RUBA staff has discussed ways, with the mayor, for the city to increase its collection rate for its trash and honeybucket haul enterprises. The city regularly bills all the customers $20 a month for the services. RUBA staff recommended to the city a couple of ways the city can try to improve its collection rate, currently at 10%. The washeteria project is on hold until the city improves the collection rate to at least 80%. The city council acts as the utility board for the trash/honeybucket haul and washeteria enterprises. The city held its election on the 1st Tuesday of November, 2011. At the request of the city council and concerned citizens, RUBA staff traveled to the community On October 31, to observe the election and tallying by election judges. The city council serves as the utility board within the community. While onsite, RUBA staff met with various community members to discus local government issues with Wales. Most of the citizens want openness, transparency and fair treatment by the council. Many citizens requested the council change the location of the city council meetings. Currently the council meetings are held at the city office. Some of the citizens complained that the city office is too small to hold public meetings and discourage citizens from listening in and voice concerns. Another issue raised was the need for the city council to work with other organizations in the community when events are held in Wales. RUBA staff also met with the city clerk to discuss her job duties and her training needs. Nome regional RUBA staff will follow up with the Wales City Council to ensure community concerns are addressed.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
*RUBA staff will make at least two trips to provide Newly Elected Officials (NEO) training classes for the council and interested community members. *RUBA staff will continue to make efforts to train the city clerk with her duties, including financial management for the trash/honeybucket haul and washeteria. *Provide training for the clerk with basic monthly financial reports.
Essential Indicators:
18 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
39 of 53


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.
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
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.
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
The city's collection rate continues to be a frustration to the mayor and city council, with the low 10% collection rate. The city council feels that it is important to continue providing the services as a health and safety issue to the community members. The mayor continues to try to hire a knowledgeable bookkeeper that is trainable and would learn to make monthly financial reports. RUBA staff had recommended to the city council to allow the new city clerk to attend a basic Quickbooks Pro training in Anchorage. The clerk was not able to attend the training due to an injury at the last minute.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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 of Wales has not updated its ordinances to include all services the utility offers. The city does manually bill the customers regularly each month for the trash/honeybucket haul services. All financial record keeping is done manually.

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 used part of its Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation's (NSEDC) Community Benefits Share (CFS) Program funds to pay off a past due IRS payroll tax bill. The city is current with all its payroll taxes and quarterly tax reports with IRS and Employment Security Division (ESD).

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.
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.
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 Wales has Workers' Compensation coverage through Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA). The city paid and updated its workers' compensation coverage and is effective through end of July, 2012.

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.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes 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.
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.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The Wales City Council is the policy making body of the utilities. The council is active in policy making of the utility, but does not consistently enforce the policy they enact. The city clerk knows basics of bookkeeping, but needs more training with her duties. RUBA staff made efforts to have her trained with QBP, but she was not able to attend the workshop. The mayor is a paid position and makes day-to-day decisions of the utility services.

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.
No 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
The City of Wales' sanitation project is on hold until the city's collection rate for the trash/honeybucket haul services improve significantly. The current washeteria is very old and in disrepair. The city is having difficulty retaining trash/honeybucket haul employees, even though the positions are paid well. The utility operator, Larry Sereadlook holds a Provisional 1 certification. His certification expires at the end of 2011. The City of Wales has completed the 2010 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The utility is not on the Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list. They maintain an inventory control and critical spare parts list.