Quarterly Report: 2008, April - June (Q4), Fort Yukon

Community:
Fort Yukon 
Staff:
Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Fort Yukon 
Population:
591  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/31/2008 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from two wells, is treated, and then stored in a 110,000-gallon tank. A combination of piped water, water delivery and individual wells serves households. A flush/haul system, septic tanks, honey buckets and outhouses are used for sewage disposal. Approximately half of all homes are plumbed. The piped water system and household septic tanks were installed in 1984. The City has received funds to repair the piped water system (repairs are on going, as needed) and to construct a piped gravity sewer system to eventually serve 250 residents and businesses, which is in progress and expected to last two more years (2010). Upgraded water service and new piped sewer service was installed for approximately 50 customers including the school in 2006. Additional funding will be needed to complete subsequent stages of the overall project. Electricity is provided by Gwitchyaa Zhee Utilities: the City hopes to be able to get waste heat for the water/sewer utility from the power company, this is anticipated to start in 2008 and be ready for the winter of 2009. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Newly assigned RUBA staff, Leroy Seppilu, made an on-site visit to the community in June to do a RUBA management re-assessment at the request of the city to determine if they had passed all the essential and sustainable indicators identified in the previous RUBA Assessment. A re-assessment was made on-site and a determination is pending confirmation with the RUBA Program Manager. The city council and staff made a very strong effort to pass the indicators and both were totally involved with the process. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The new Fairbanks RUBA will continue to work with the City of Fort Yukon as issues arise. We also plan on revising the City's Code of Ordinances, as well as updating the Personnel Policies, although the PP are currently adequate in meeting the needs of the City's personnel issues.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
23 of 27
Total Score:
48 of 53

Finances

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
The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget. The city has made the corrections to the budgetary deficiencies identified in the previous assessment. The revenue increase from FY 07 of $59,732 to $109,497 changes are due to an increase of w/s utility residential customers as the sanitation project continues. According to the sanitation project supervisor, the city currently has at least 80 + w/s utility customers and at least 40+ will be added this summer. The revenue estimate is usually based on 100% collection estimates of all w/s utility customers. The council approved w/s utility rates to $115 a month, effective July 1st, 2008. ' Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making body. The city treasurer now makes comprehensive monthly financial reports to the city council, with month, current budget, $ over budget and percentage of budget comparison categories. She also explains any budgetary figures the council members do not understand. ' Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary. A budget amendment was introduced on April 14th, with a public hearing and passage on April 25th, 2008. This fiscal year, it may have been a year in which a budget amendment or amendments was or were not needed. The city council and staff are familiar with amending budgets. The city has at least $93,000 in a CD account for this purpose. The city treasurer made a detailed financial report to the city council during its monthly regular meeting that I attended. The financial report was fairly detailed.

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 utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it. The acting city manager, Richard Carroll discussed with RUBA how the city had taken past due w/s utility customers to small claims court in the past but couldnt get any further than that. The city tried to garnish part of the customers PFD checks but was not allowed by the court to proceed. In its next step, the city council has authorized the city administration to take the individuals to a collection agency to reclaim at least half of the past due accounts.

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 Internal Revenue Service and the Alaska State Department of Labor deem the City of Fort Yukon compliant at this time.

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 has adequate written job descriptions for all positions. The city has adopted a job description for the water plant operator. The other positions are irrelevant to the w/s utility department, but RUBA recommended to the council to create job descriptions as soon as it can to the positions that dont have written job descriptions. The w/s utility drivers job description is being drafted and will be given to RUBA as soon as it is done. RUBA provided some assistance with formatting. ' The utility has an adequate written hiring process. The City has a fairly comprehensive personnel policy that it uses. RUBA staff read through the policy and deemed the hiring process adequate for city use. Except for some grammatical errors, it is adequately written and meets the needs of the citys personnel issues. It may need to be eventually updated. Yes, there is a conflict between what the ordinance says and the job descriptions for the city clerk and city treasurer, in this case the city ordinance job descriptions prevail. The correction can and is easily made. The acting city manager, Richard Carroll, showed me a copy of the citys personnel policies. It has comprehensive hiring and firing procedures. It has acceptable procedures for hiring and firing city employees that is also typical of PP other cities use. The city is in the process of renewing its workers compensation coverage with AML-JIA for Fiscal Year 2009.

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 policy making body enforces utility policy. The city council is trying a couple of tactics to collect past due accounts, mostly residential customers. The city did take most of the past due customers to small claims court without success. The city council has authorized the city administration to collect by hiring a collections agency. It may mean a loss of up to 60%, but the council feels it is worth the try. ' The utility has an adequately trained manager. The acting city manager has extensive experience as a past city manager (now retired) and currently as a city council member. execute other powers and duties lawfully prescribed by the council, adequately qualifies the city manager to step in as the utility manager should cover this issue. ' The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure. The city has updated its organizational chart and has it posted for the public and employees. It is also filed in its records.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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
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.
No 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.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
There were several attendants on Monday morning sponsored and run by AML-JIA, including employees of the w/s utility department. The city is making it mandatory for them to attend the monthly meetings. The issue of the water mains breaking down is not relevant to the management issues of the w/s utility system. The sanitation project supervisor and the RMW are aware of this and are addressing the issue. The inventory and critical spare parts lists are addressed as adequate by the ANTHC project supervisor. RUBA discussed the issues with him and he said when the sanitation project is completed next summer, there will be enough inventory and critical spare parts to cover the needs of the w/s utility system for at least two years. RMW and ANTHC have programs which can assist the w/s utility with repair, technical assistance, purchasing materials and equipment if needed.