RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Brevig Mission


Community:

Brevig Mission

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Leroy Seppilu

Agreement:

No

DCA Region:

Nome

Agreement Date:

Region:

Bering Straits

Exp Date:

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Unorganized

Assessment Date:

8/17/2011

Population:

358

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

10/4/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

Brevig Mission completed construction of a 8.5 million dollar, 4-phased piped water and wastewater system and new landfill in November 2002. The water and wastewater system is rated as a Class A system. Water is supplied from Shelmon Creek and is treated and stored in a 100,000-gallon tank at the washeteria. The tank is filled monthly. Water is piped into the school from the washeteria.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

In July, RUBA staff traveled to Brevig Mission to attend a city council meeting where he was asked to discuss the city's finances. Prior to the meeting RUBA staff reviewed the city's finances with the city bookkeeper and the mayor, mainly the water and wastewater's finances. Although the City's collection rate is still excellent, the deficit has grown to at least $137,000 from last fiscal year's deficit of $90,000. The City's workers' compensation coverage lapsed due to non-payment. RUBA staff worked with the bookkeeper to compile and update a list of total debts owed by the city. RUBA staff also re-introduced a monthly financial statement sample in an Excel Spreadsheet format. The financial report is to include the quarterly tax reports and end-of-the-month bank balances. The city's latest quarterly payroll reports show an average of a $22,000 per month in payroll cost. The city was behind on electricity bills and had received a disconnection notice. After receiving the notice the city made an agreement with the electricity provider to pay about half of the total electricity bill so they would not be disconnected. RUBA staff also trained the bookkeeper how to complete a Certified Financial Statement using Actuals and Budgeted figures. The bookkeeper was able to complete the form and provide it to the city council. Funds from State Revenue Sharing are being used to pay for payroll tax obligations. In addition to the on-site RUBA staff provided telephone support to the city. RUBA staff discussed fuel issues with the mayor. The mayor stated the city received at least 9,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The city will be ordering additional 30,000 gallons at $4.12 a gallon. RUBA staff provided information on DCRAs Bulk Fuel Revolving Loan Program. The city has submitted a loan application for the purchase of additional fuel.

 

Capacity Indicator: Finances

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

No

A monthly manager's report is prepared.

No

Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.

Comment:

The city has a FY14 budget, however it is not a balanced realistic budget. The City subsidizes the department expenses with sales tax, funds from Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation's Community Benefits Share Program and sometimes from the State's Revenues Sharing Program funds. The city received at least 9,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The city will be ordering additional 30,000 gallons at $4.12 a gallon. RUBA staff provided information on DCRAs Bulk Fuel Revolving Loan Program. The city has submitted a loan application for the purchase of additional fuel.

 

Capacity Indicator: Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The city uses Intuit's Quickbooks software program for billing water and wastewater billing. The city bills all the water and wastewater customers monthly. The payroll and quarterly reports are done using Quickbooks. The city also uses Quickbooks to record incoming revenues and expenditures. The city bookkeeper is at least on intermediate level with use of Quickbooks.

 

Capacity Indicator: Tax Problems

Essential Indicators:

Yes

The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.

Yes

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.

Comment:

The City uses Quickbooks to complete quarterly tax reports. The City made an agreement with IRS to at least submit quarterly tax reports. However, the city has not been able to make tax deposits. IRS has taken all of the Revenue Sharing funds and Payment-In-Lieu-of Taxes (PILT). For calendar year 2013, the City's Employment Security Contribution (ESC) employer rate is 3.38%. The City submits ESC quarterly tax reports to Dept. of Labor's Employment Security Division without payments.

 

Capacity Indicator: Personnel System

Essential Indicators:

No

The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.

Sustainable Indicators:

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.

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.

Comment:

The city does not currently have workers' compensation coverage. A 3-year contract with a provider was cancelled by the provider after the city failed to submit payments. The city is at least one year behind on the payment. The city was threatened with at least $500 a day fine for non-compliance by Employment Security Division for not having the required worers' compensation coverage as required by State law. The City is in the process of obtaining coverage within the next couple of weeks.

 

Capacity Indicator: Organizational Management

Essential Indicators:

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.

No

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:

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.

Comment:

The city council meets regularly and the water and wastewater issues are in its monthly meeting agendas. The current bookkeeper was laid off a couple of months ago and re-hired after the city council unsuccessfully advertised the bookkeeper position for two weeks. The city has a comprehensive water and wasterwater ordinance which identifies the ownership of the utility and who the utility board is.

 

Capacity Indicator: Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The utility operators certified to the level of the water and wastewater systems managed and operated by the city. The city clerk makes monthly reports on the status of each department, including the water and waste water department. RUBA staff has recommended to the city to attend Alaska Municipal Leagues Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA) sponsored monthly safety meetings by teleconference. The water and wastewater operators have recommended to the city council to purchase at least 35,000 gallons of diesel fuel for use with the water and wastewater plants.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

RUBA staff will continue to work with the city council and the mayor to continue to lower the total owed to various vendors, including electrity bills, fuel bills payroll tax liabilities. RUBA staff may make at least on trip to Brevig Mission in the next quarter to review the water and wastewater revenues and expenditures.