Quarterly Report: 2014, January - March (Q3), Napaskiak

Community:
Napaskiak 
Staff:
Eli Jacobson  
DCRA Regional Office:
Bethel regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Napaskiak 
Population:
442 2013 Department of Labor Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
7/16/2012 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
4/7/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Flush/haul units have been installed in almost 100 percent of the houses as of September 2010. Flush haul service is available from the city. Treated water is also available from one of two watering points. Many of the flush haul units are having problems with freeze ups during the winter. On September 9, 2013 the city shut down the washeteria for winter. The city took this measure to avoid municipal bankruptcy. The town is rationing electricity. Half of the town will receive electricity while the other half goes without. This process cycles daily. As of September 2013 forty flush haul units are no longer functional.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
During this quarter multiple phone contacts were made with Napaskiak administrative staff concerning the budget and monthly financial reports as well as an onsite visit. The City of Napaskiak has a population of 434. In 2001 construction began on about 100 flush haul units for individual homes. In September 2010, a “no more honey bucket” celebration marked completion of the flush haul units. As of February 2014, over 50 percent of the flush haul units are no longer functional. On February 18, 2014 RUBA staff contacted the RMW assigned to Napaskiak with questions about the failure of most the towns flush haul units. The RMW said that almost all the failures were due to three reasons; not replacing broken heat tape, pumps being run dry until they burned up, and toilets not being repaired. The RMW stated the home owner is responsible for this maintenance. The RMW believes that that in order for the homeowners to initially receive the flush haul unit installation, the homeowners had to sign a contract to this effect. In less than three years from installation, most of the towns flush haul units have become inoperable. Due to this, several households have gone back to honeybuckets. Improper dumping of honeybuckets has caused community wide health problems. The city has other ongoing struggles with its water waste/water utilities. On February 19, Bethel RUBA staff traveled to Napaskiak to assist the city clerk and bookkeeper with the city budget. RUBA staff brought a copy of the FY14 city budget manual produced by the Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA) and used it to go through the process of creating and amending a city budget ordinance. The City of Napaskiak has a fiscal year that starts on July 1. RUBA staff stated that DCRA recommends starting the process 90 days before the beginning of the new fiscal year and that this is an ideal time to begin work on the FY15, as well as amending the FY14 budgets. The administrator had highlighted mistakes with the budget and the monthly financials. Both the budget and monthly financials are done on an Excel spreadsheet. The bookkeeper made corrections for accuracy to both on the computer. Labels, dates and other miscellaneous changes were also made. Thursday morning the administrator was in the city office and all the changes were shown and explained to him. RUBA staff discussed the ordinance process with the administrator and gave a copy of the DCRA city budget manual to him. The administrator is also a council member. Currently, the council only has five members and has not selected a mayor. RUBA staff encouraged the administrator to prioritize selecting a mayor during the next council meeting. On March 19, RUBA staff requested information to update the online quarterly RUBA report. However, up to the writing of this report the requested information has not been received by the Bethel office.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to work with Napaskiak on the remaining indicators and anything else they require assistance with
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
17 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
35 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.
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.
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
The City of Napaskiak has not provided a copy of its FY14 budget for the period July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Napaskiak needs to create monthly financial reports that compare year-to-date revenues and year-to-date expenditures to annual budgeted amounts. The monthly reports need to be submitted to the council and recorded in the meeting minutes. Napaskiak generates its own electricity but the cost of the utility use cannot be determined The City of Napaskiak purchases fuel from the local vendor as needed. The city does not have a repair and replacement fund. Currently, year-to-date revenues and expenditures cannot be determined. The monthly manager's report is given verbally. The council meets the second Tuesday of each month and adopts budget amendments as necessary.

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
No 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 Napaskiak has a collections policy and actively follows it. Customers are billed regularly. A copy of a billing statement was provided. The billing statement includes past due amounts of thirty, sixty, and ninety days demonstrating a functional accounts receivable system. Accounts receivable, accounts payable, and the payroll are done manually with a ledger. The city clerk also uses a receipt book and ledgers to provide receipts for incoming funds as well as recording how outgoing money was spent. The city does not have a chart of accounts. Monthly bank reconciliations are performed on all five bank accounts. Purchases above two thousand dollars require council approval. All purchases less than two thousand dollars require the city clerk's approval.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
A form requesting release of federal tax information was sent to the City of Napaskiak on March 19, 2014. This form has not been received by the Bethel office, and therefore it cannot be determined if the City of Napaskiak is current on Federal tax filing and deposits. The state Department of Labor (DOL) was contacted on March 19, 2014. DOL verified that the City of Napaskiak is current on their Employment Security Contributions account. The City of Napaskiak is not on the Lien Watch dated January-February 2014.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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.
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 Napaskiak has not provided a copy of its worker's compensation insurance policy that covers the period July 1, 2013 through July 1, 2014. A personnel policy has been adopted. The city is working with AMLJIA to create written job descriptions for all positions. The utility has a written personnel evaluation process. However, the meeting minutes did not show its adoption. The utility has a written hiring process. Personnel folders contain job applications, I-9s, and letters of acceptance. The city has a three month probationary period in the personnel policy. On-the-job training and additional training opportunities are provided as necessary. Staff are encouraged to pursue further training opportunities.

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 owns the utility and is the policy making body. The city council meets the second Tuesday of each month. The city stops flush/haul service when a customer is 30 days or more behind on payments. The city clerk has been employed for over a year and performs management and bookkeeping duties. The utility operator has six years experience, and is going to additional training. The city does not have an adopted organizational chart. The city has adopted ordinances that give the utility authority to operate. City meetings are posted in five public places and the requirements for the Open Meetings Act are met.

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
No 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.
No 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 is a permanent part-time employee. The operator has six years experience and is attending additional training to increase certification level. The utility has a preventative maintenance plan. The operator currently does not provide monthly reports to the administrator and routine spot checks of the facility are not being completed. The utility currently does not have a safety manual or hold regular safety meetings. The utility is providing regular service to over ninety percent of the town. The operator currently provides status reports to the city clerk. The city did not have a posted CCR. The city is not on the January 2014 Significant Non-Compliance list. The utility has an inventory control and critical spare parts list.