Quarterly Report: 2010, January - March (Q3), Fort Yukon

Community:
Fort Yukon 
Staff:
 
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:
5/10/2010 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Recently the community has joined inn agreement with the Alaska Rural Utilities Collaborative (ARUC). ARUC runs the water treatment facility that treats the water from two wells, 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 which is expected to be completed in 2010. 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.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The Native Village of Fort Yukon continues to jointly manage the water/wastewater utility with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium's Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative (ARUC). 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. Currently, all the indicators are being met and will be discussed in the following sections. No other information was discussed during this quarter with RUBA staff. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will maintain contact with the Native Village of Fort Yukon and ARUC.
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
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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city has adopted a budget for FY10, it appears to be a balanced budget but additional information is needed to determine if it is realistic or not. It appears that the city is current with paying the electric bill but further confirmation is needed for definitive results. 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 the year. The city appears to be receiving revenues but additional information is needed to confirm this. ARUC produces monthly financial reports presenting year-to-date activity. The ARUC report for this quarter shows the utility is receiving revenue and that the costs cover the operating budget. The budgeted items are matching up well with actual numbers being collected. RUBA requests confirmation that manager reports are in fact being consistently communicated to the advisory committee listed in the ARUC contract with the Native Village of Fort Yukon.

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 ARUC bills customers consistently. ARUC operates under an agreement with the village council and a water/wastewater ordinance that includes a collections policy. Of note, collections continue to wane and an ARUC subsidy has been required to allow operational expenditures to continue. ARUC maintains a workers compensation policy and 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 office in Anchorage. 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
A September 25, 2009 report from the IRS indicates ANTHC ARUC is compliant with federal tax reporting and deposit requirements. On December 17, 2009 the Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) reported ANTHC ARUC is meeting Alaska ESC tax obligations for the quarter ending September 30, 2009. 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 reportedly current until October 1, 2010. ARUC abides by a comprehensive personnel policy, maintains personnel folders, utilizes a probationary period for new hires, and provides training opportunities to staff.

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
ARUC oversees water/wastewater utility management with the village council through a written, contractual agreement signed by the Native Village of Fort Yukon September 14, 2009. ARUC enforces utility policy. According to the agreement, ARUC is to meet with an advisory council that includes representation from the community. RUBA requests confirmation that the advisory committee is in fact meeting and being provided operational and financial information as outlined in the ARUC agreement. A water/wastewater ordinance is in place. ARUC continues managing utility billing and collection services. The water operator is trained The city has not yet hired a permanent city manager to fill the vacancy in that position since last year.In the meantime, the city treasurer has been serving as acting city manager until the position is filled. 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".
No 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 operator has the necessary certifications, the operator utilizes a preventative maintenance plan and provides reports to the ARUC utility manager. According to Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation the city of Fort Yukon is on the October 2009 SNC list for a Surface Water Treatment Rule violoation the system has not been sampling enough epl cl2 samples. Need to complete the correct amount of sampling for 6 months straight to be removed from SNC list.