Quarterly Report: 2011, January - March (Q3), 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:
5/4/2011 
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). A new water system is currently under construction. The building for the water treatment facility is nearly finished and the water treatment equipment is being put in place this winter. A large (350,000 gallon) treated water storage tank is scheduled to be built during summer 2011. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Fairbanks RUBA staff was in continual contact with the recently resigned Fort Yukon city manager. Fairbanks staff has also been in communication with the newly appointed city manager. There have been issues with wastewater lines blocking up and freezing in February this past quarter. Wastewater obstructions occurring downstream of the clinic appear to be due to a lack of education, the flushing of non-flushable product, and not endemic of system or design flaws. RUBA staff remained involved in advising Fort Yukon management throughout the process of alleviating issues stemming from sewage blockage and spillage in the vicinity of the clinic.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will be conducting a RUBA field assessment of Fort Yukon's utility's April 12-14.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
14 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
22 of 27
Total Score:
36 of 53

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
Yes 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
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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Fort Yukon staff have not provided financial documentation to RUBA personnel this quarter. Requests were emailed March 18, and phone calls were made March 23 and April 4. Fort Yukon bookkeeping personnel is unavailable until April 10. RUBA staff will collect financial information during the RUBA assessment. The city of Fort Yukon has an adopted budget for Fiscal Year 2011. The utility is currently not operating close to the budgeted amounts, and the utility provider should request for an amendment to the budget to allow a more accurate portrayal of the finances. The utility is receiving revenues to cover the costs of operations. Revenue generation includes user fees and other sources. Information regarding the utility's billing system was not provided, the utility does not utilize the same accounting system for their accounts payable as they do for their other accounting transactions, but they do list an amounts payable as a line item for the balance sheet. According to the city treasurer the city will be purchasing fuel throughout the year from the local fuel distributor, and currently has enough funds for fuel for the year.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
No An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts.
No An accounts payable system is in place.
No The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
No 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.
No Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts.
No 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
Fort Yukon staff have not responded to RUBA personnel's request for financial documentation. RUBA staff will conduct a field assessment and gather financial documents in the next week. The utility in Fort Yukon has a collection policy that the utility follows. Utility bills are sent to customers on a regular basis. There is an existing accounts receivable program utilized in QuickBooks tracking customers and reporting past due accounts and amounts. Documentation of an accounts payable system was not provided to RUBA staff at present. RUBA staff is aware of a cash recording system utilizing a register and receipt system.

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.
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
According to the latest information from the IRS, Fort Yukon still needs to file their 941 information for 2nd quarter 2010.

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 is purchased for the city of Fort Yukon through the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Agency, the lapse date is July 1, 2011. The city currently has adequate job descriptions for all positions.

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 water/wastewater is owned and operated by the city of Fort Yukon. The new project is owned while under construction by Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, and will, once transfer of ownership and responsibility takes place, be owned and operated by the city of Fort Yukon. The utility has a trained bookkeeper. There is a city manager in Fort Yukon. The utility currently has a well trained competent operator. Staff arrangements in Fort Yukon have been volatile in the recent past, and staffing arrangements could continue to be problematic in the future. A water/wastewater ordinance is in place. A copy of the organizational chart is on file. The city council meets on a regular basis and 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 main utility operator has the necessary certifications; Other operators are certified or seeking certification. The operator utilizes a preventative maintenance plan and provides reports. Fort Yukon is not on the Significant Non-Complier' list.