Quarterly Report: 2012, April - June (Q4), Fort Yukon

Community:
Fort Yukon 
Staff:
Jeffrey Congdon  
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:
7/26/2012 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Fort Yukon operates a class 2 water system. The water treatment facility treats water from a well that is influenced by both groundwater and surface water. The treated water is 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 ongoing as needed) and to construct a piped gravity sewer system which is expected to be completed soon. Additional funding will be needed to complete subsequent stages of the overall project. Electricity is provided by Gwitchyaa Zhee Utilities. Waste heat from the electric utility may be available for the water/wastewater utility pending available funding and agreement between the utilities. It is recommended that this option should be actively pursued (depending on feasibility and practicality of utilizing available waste heat). Construction was completed on a new water treatment facility, with a grand opening in January, 2012. A large (350,000 gallon) treated water storage tank was recently constructed to replace the 110,000 existing tank. A water and wastewater project is connecting existing homes throughout the area in a multiple phased project. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Fort Yukon staff attended a Financial Management class for utility managers in Fairbanks this quarter. Fairbanks RUBA staff requested financial information for Fort Yukon's utilities on June 20, 2012 for the previous quarter. Staff was scheduled to travel to Fort. Yukon in late June, however, that trip has been postponed for a few weeks. Staff has not recieved financial information from Ft. Yukon as of July 6, 2012. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will continue to analyze information from Fort Yukon, and will report accordingly. RUBA staff will be available for training or advice as requested. RUBA staff had to reschedule a trip to Fort Yukon for city council and employee training, that trip should take place in late July, travel dates have not been fully determined.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
18 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
27 of 27
Total Score:
45 of 54

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
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 realistic balanced budget, and makes appropriate budget amendments as necessary. The utility is current in paying water and wastewater bills. Reports were not generated in congruence with payment cycles, but the accounts payable information shows a history of prompt payment to suppliers. The utility has a financial plan to continue purchasing fuel locally on an as needed basis. The utility maintains a preventative maintenance line item in the budget, and generates enough revenue to cover operating expenses. If necessary, the utility has the budgeted option of transfering additional funds from the city's cash reserve. Year to date revenues, as of January 23, are at 59%, which appears to be an appropriate percentage for being well into the 3rd quarter of the fiscal year. Expenditures are only at 35% of the budgeted amount for the fiscal year, which appears reasonable at present.

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 City of Fort Yukon's bookkeeper/treasurer, Velma Carroll, bills customers on a regular basis, sending a statement with line items for each service rendered, rather than billing for each service separately. Fort Yukon utilizes QuickBooks for accounts receivable, payable, payroll, and cash recording. The utility also utilizes a cash receipt system. The City of Fort Yukon's chart of accounts appears to be reasonable, bookkeeping staff reconciles and files all bank transactions for the city's utilities. The city department heads are informed of the amounts of funding available, and of their situation within the city's budget. The approval process for purchases compares proposed expenditures with budgeted and existing funds prior to the purchase being made.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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 Fort Yukon's bookkeeping office has an impressively well organized three ring binder of payroll records, organized quarterly by date. Bookkeeping staff utilize this paper record as well as electronic records through QuickBooks to ensure timely preparation and payment of federal and state tax reports and deposits. The utility, as of June 20,2012 is current with the IRS. Fort Yukon is not compliant with DOL, filing and payment for 1st Quarter, FY12 has not been submitted as of June 20, 2012.

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 City of Fort Yukon has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect provided through AML/JIA which was valid on July 1, 2012. The city utilizes a personnel policy handbook wherein adequate job descriptions are written for all positions, the utility hiring process and job evaluation process are included in the handbook. Job notices are posted with the job description and are advertised locally at least 14 days. The personnel folder for each employee contains their I-9, job application, letter of acceptance, any employee evaluations, a copy of the employees acceptance of the personnel handbook, and other information that may be specific to that employee. Employees are evaluated annually, during the month of November by their supervisor. The supervisor reports the evaluation to the personnel officer; the personnel officer is the city manager. The City of Fort Yukon has a 90 day probationary period for all new hires; orientation, oversight, and job training are provided during the probationary period, ongoing training opportunities are provided as necessary.

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 of Fort Yukon is the owner of the utility; the utility is named City Water and Sewer and operates under Alaska Business License 253521. The city council is the policy making body, the city council is also the utility board. They meet monthly as required by Alaska Statute, and they do enforce the utility policy. The utility is managed by Velma Carroll in an interim manner while a permanent city manager is recruited. Velma Carroll is the bookkeeper for the utility; she is very organized and quite competent and has over three years experience in the position of treasurer/bookkeeper. Eric Tremblay is the main water operator for the utility; he is mechanically inclined and intimately knowledgeable with Fort Yukon's utilities. Mr. Tremblay is currently certified at Water Treatment 2 and Water Distribution 3, which is at or above the requirements necessary to City Water and Sewer's utility system. Mr. Tremblay has over three years of experience with the water and wastewater utility systems in Fort Yukon. Mr. Tremblay currently works part time for the City of Fort Yukon as the water operator, and also works for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium constructing the new water treatment facility. The organizational chart was officially adopted in May, 2011. The city council is the utility board. The council complies with the Open Meetings Act.

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
The utility operator(s) actively work towards and continue to keep their certifications current. There was a provisional water treatment and distribution course offered in Fort Yukon in the last year, Fort Yukon personnel were in attendance in that course, and Fort Yukon's operator and relief operators continue working towards higher levels of certification. Over the past winter the new water treatment plant has come online, and the old treatment plant has been winterized. The manager and the utility operator communicate on a routine basis, Mr. Tremblay gives verbal updates on at least a monthly basis, and the city manager checks on the water plant facilities. City of Fort. Yukon maintenance personnel do hold safety meetings. There are currently no unresolved major problems or outages within the utility facilities or distribution system. The water treatment plant is producing potable water, and is currently not on the Significant Non-Compliance list. The utility maintains an inventory control list, and is proactive in purchasing supplies and equipment. The utility also maintains a spare parts inventory and a critical spare parts list for the existing water treatment facility. As the new water treatment facility becomes operational, a spare parts inventory and a critical spare parts list will have to be developed.