Quarterly Report: 2006, April - June (Q4), Ambler

Community:
Ambler 
Staff:
Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Ambler 
Population:
283  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/26/2006 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The main source of water for the community is a 167'well near the Kobuk River. Water is pumped 940 feet to the treatment facility and stored in a 210,000-gallon insulated tank, then piped to most homes. An 80' standby well is also located at the water treatment plant. Sewage is collected via 6-and8-inch arctic pipes and flows to a facultative lagoon through two life stations where it discharges to a natural watershed, then the Kobuk River. Currently, 53 homes are served by the piped water and sewer system. Funds have been requested to connect the remaining 13 homes and offices to the piped system. A new water treatment plant, washeteria, and sewage lagoon have been funded. The landfill is not permitted. Here is the status of the projects: The plans for the sewage lagoon, lift station, and force main are complete. The intent is to finish construction of these summer 06. The City Office/Washeteria design is 65% complete. We intend to finish construction summer 06. The Water Treatment Plant design is 65% complete. We intend to start construction in the summer of 06 and complete the project (including demolition of the existing water treatment plant) summer 07. Plans for the two water distribution system projects are 65% complete. We intend to start and finish construction on these summer 07. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The Kotzebue LGS traveled to Ambler to provide on site training and assistance this last quarter. RUBA staff continue to monitor the community's progress and will conduct a site visit next quarter. The City continues to meet essential indicators this last quarter. They are preparing for this summer water/sewer contruction season. Unfortunately the Native Village of Ambler will not sign the agreement for the sewage lagoon work for unknown reasons so that project will not be able to move forward at this time. RUBA staff assisted the city in writing a friendly 'lets work together for the health of the community' letter but that went unanswered. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will travel this next quarter to continue to monitor their assessment status, and work towars meeting sustainable indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
22 of 27
Total Score:
49 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.
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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
RUBA staff provided training on their FY 07 budget and how to amend their current budget and reviewing their current monthly financial statement.

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
Although the city has had to watch their budget very closely this last quarter, they were able to keep up with their accounts payable. Their collection rate is at 88% with only 8 residents delinquent. Four of those have payment plans.

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 city currently as a credit with Alaska Dept. of Labor for their ESC tax.

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.
No 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.
No 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 has plans to do personnel evaluations this next quarter. The city has a probationary period but staff mentioned that the orientation and evaluations needs work. They have not hired since then so the turnover rate is very good!

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
No 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 during my next trip has asked to create a new organizational chart. They said one was adopted a while back but cannot be found still at this time.

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 city is on the SNC list for last stage 1 violation 6/2005 for not taking ditribution chlorine, could RTC at the end of this month if collect appropriate sample. 11 of 12 months towards RTC.