RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Emmonak


Community:

Emmonak

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Ken Berlin

Agreement:

Yes

DCA Region:

Bethel

Agreement Date:

3/1/2006

Region:

Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta

Exp Date:

3/1/2008

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Unorganized

Assessment Date:

6/8/2012

Population:

796

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

12/10/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

The City of Emmonak owns and operates the piped water/sewer system. The City also owns and operates the washeteria/sauna. Construction of a new washeteria is completed. The city council is the policy making body for this utility. Water is derived from the Yukon river and is treated. Piped water and sewer services are provided to most of the residents of Emmonak. Currently, there are 206 connections to this system. Out of those connected, there are 185 residential homes and 23 businesses in service. The next water/sewer Village Safe Water funding will connect six new Emmonak tribal housing units.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

The city manager has been there for years and is competent. The bookkeeper resigned at the end of May 2013. A job opening was posted and a new finance director was hired in August 2013. The finance director is experienced and has been doing catch up work and making corrections on QuickBooks for the last couple of months. She is putting together her first finance reports to the city council and will send RUBA a copy with meeting minutes when complete. The city roads and airport apron suffered damage during the spring flooding. FEMA and Homeland Security are assisting the city. The city is compliant according to the June 2013 report by state DOL. 11/20/13 RUBA staff received a call from the city finance director requesting a copy of FY2014 budget. The city mailed the original copy of the FY14 budget to Juneau, staff e-mailed a copy of the FY14 budget to the city. 11/22/13 RUBA staff received an e-mail from the city planning staff requesting for a sample planning commission ordinance, which staff provided. 11/22/13 RUBA staff received a request from the city manager for information on the roles and reponsibilities of the city council, mayor, and chain of command and the organizational chart for a second class city with a city manager. Staff sent the city the following including a letter explaining the above request: A Primer for City Council Members; Mayor's Handbook; Responsibilities of the Mayor, Council, and Assembly; and the roles of elected officials. 11/26/13 RUBA staff was contacted by Ms. Sullivan, LGS concerning the effects of the recent storm to hit the northwestern coast of state. The city manager informed staff that the city has limited access to potable water due to the debris and turbity of the Yukon river. The city manager closed the laundry facilities to save water and the city is under a boil water notice. RUBA staff received a copy of a trip report by YKHC/RMW dated November 21, 2013 that the Yukon river pump site was extended to deeper and cleaner water and the water plant was once again making water.

 

Capacity Indicator: Finances

Essential Indicators:

Yes

All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.

Yes

The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.

No

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:

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.

Yes

Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.

Comment:

The FY14 budget is balanced and is available on the Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA) website. The finance reports are current to February 2013, as reconciled, according to a finance report to the city mayor and manager dated March 26, 2013. City council meeting minutes will be sent after they are typed up. The finance reports are QuickBooks budget vs. actuals by Class, July 2012 to March 26, 2013. The finance reports should be updated by the end of October or early November 2013. The city has sixty thousand gallons of heating fuel and five thousand gallons of unleaded gasoline fuel on hand and stated this is enough to last until spring. Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) confirmed electric bills are current to August 2013. The city does not have an Repair and Replacement account in place.

 

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 was considering joining Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative (ARUC) billing and collections service. No further action by the city to join ARUC was noted in the last quarter. The collection policy is being reviewed by staff to update as necessary, set up procedures to enforce collections, how to deal with bills more than a year old, accounts of customers who moved away, accounts of deceased customers, and accounts deemed uncollectible for various reasons. Also some accountholders who pay up their accounts during commercial fishing, firefighting, seasonal employment and Alaska Permanent Fund time need to be addressed. Customer billings go out on the first week of each month. Accounts payables, receivables, payroll and cash disbursements are all in QuickBooks Pro, version 2012. Reconciliation of the general account is current to December 2012.

 

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.

Yes

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.

Comment:

The utility uses the QuickBooks system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities. There are no reported tax liens on the September-October 2013 Lien Watch Report. The city was deemed compliant by the State DOL/ESC who confirmed compliance to June 2013.

 

Capacity Indicator: Personnel System

Essential Indicators:

Yes

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.

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.

Comment:

The City of Emmonak has workers compensation insurance coverage through Alaska Municipal League July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014. A personnel policy includes sections for hiring, evaluation, and probation. Vacant positions are posted until filled. New hires are on probation for three months. The city manager and city council have authority to hire. The Emmonak city council screens and hires for the positions of manager, police chief, clerk, treasurer, and city attorney. A spot check of one personnel file had annual evaluations, job description, I-9, but no job application or letter of acceptance.

 

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.

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:

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 of Emmonak is known as the provider of water and wastewater services and has adopted an ordinance authorizing it to operate. The city council meets regularly on the first Tuesday of each month and follows the Opens Meeting Act. The city manager has held the position for years and is competent. The manager also enforces the utility policies as directed by the city council. The bookkeeper worked in accounts payable prior to taking the position as the city's full-time bookkeeper. Both the manager and bookkeeper are adequately trained. The main operator has a wastewater lagoon certificate and just attended and tested for water treatment, distribution and wastewater collection, test results are pending. The backup operator attended and tested for introduction to small, treated water systems, test results are pending. Both operators are working towards certification. The organizational chart was posted in the city offices and a copy in on file.

 

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 main and backup utility operators are actively working towards necessary certification and recently attended trainings. The main operator has a wastewater lagoon certificate and just attended and tested for water treatment, distribution and wastewater collection, test results still pending. The backup operator attended and tested for introduction to small, treated water systems, test results are pending. The assistant city manager receives monthly O and M reports from the operators and spot checks the facilities monthly. The assistant city manager was the main water and wastewater operator for years prior to becoming the assistant city manager.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

RUBA staff is available to provide assistance with any management capacity indicators that are not met. Finance reports are needed with city council meeting minutes. A new computer hardware and software system is needed that meets the city's needs.