Quarterly Report: 2009, April - June (Q4), Savoonga

Community:
Savoonga 
Staff:
Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Savoonga 
Population:
712  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
8/10/2009 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Savoonga turned over its financial management control of the water and sewer utility to Alaska Rural Utilities Collaborative (ARUC)about two years ago. The city's water is piped down from a well about a mile south of the community. Most of the homes are connected to the water and sewer utility system. The utility sells treated water to the school. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The city signed a Memorandum of Agreement to allow Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium's (ANTHC) Alaska Rural Utility Collabortive (ARUC)to manage the utility services in Savoonga in an effort to solve the billings and collections problems. The RUBA Assessment of Management Indicators, a special sanitation grant condition, conducted for ARUC, is updated periodically to reflect the current status of RUBA indicators. Presently all RUBA essential indicators are being met; details on each indicator are listed in this report. The utility is compliant with IRS and ESC tax and report requirements and is not on the SNC Non-Compliant List. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will provide on-going telephonic assistance to Mayor Kava and utility staff upon request and as needed.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
24 of 27
Total Score:
51 of 54

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
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.
No 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
Under ARUC, the utility has a fairly comprehensive monthly financial report using Excel spreadsheet format. ARUC provides a subsidy when customer revenues fall short of expenditures. A subsidy is listed in ARUC monthly financial reports at a year to date amount but the line item does not appear in the budget. ARUC management voiced certainty that customer revenues will increase substantially as residents build a trust in the collection process. The utility is current on its electric bills and indicates fuel is sufficient for operations. ARUC uses the federal government's October - September fiscal year. The fiscal year is 3/4 through and ARUC's collection (revenue) is slightly below the expenditures. The collection percentage is about 72%, which is acceptable. RUBA requests confirmation that manager reports are in fact being consistently communicated to the advisory committee listed in the ARUC contract with the City of Savoonga.

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
ARUC bills customers consistently. ARUC operates under an agreement with the city and their water/waster ordinance incluses a collections policy. ARUC uses computerized accounting to monitor and track finances. ARUC maintains accounting records including accounts payable, receivable, and payroll under direction of a utility manager based in their central Anchorage office. ARUC maintains a chart of accounts, reconciles bank accounts, and utilizes a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase.

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 IRS reported that ARUC, the managing entity for this utility, is compliant with federal tax reporting and deposit requirements. The Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) confirmed ARUC is meeting Alaska ESC taxx obligations for the quarter. ARUC uses accounting software to process payroll out of their Anchorage office.

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
Workers compensation insurance coverage, purchased for ANTHC through Alaska National Insurance Company, is current until October 1, 2009. ARUC abides by a comprehensive personnel policy, maintains personnel folders, utilizes a probationary period for new hires, and provides training opportunities to staff. Water operator staff duties include washeteria maintenance, however, ARUC reports that the associated costs of such work are covered in full by the City of Savoonga.

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 council meets regularly and has the water/water utility system on its agenda. The mayor has stated to RUBA staff they have no plans to request the management/control of the water/wastewater utility system, since they had lots of problems with collection and loss of revenues after residential customers paid their bills by cash. ARUC meets quarterly with an advisory council that includes representation from Savoonga. RUBA has requested that confirmation of the committee meeting occurred and that Savoonga is provided operational and financial information as outlined in the ARUC agreement. A Water/wastewater ordinance is in place. The water operator is trained

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".
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
he utility is not on the SNC list, according to the latest report. The utility has very long inventory control and spare part lists. The operator utilizes a preventative maintenance plan and provides reports to the ARUC utility manager.