Quarterly Report: 2013, April - June (Q4), Alakanuk

Community:
Alakanuk 
Staff:
Ken Berlin  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Alakanuk 
Population:
681  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/24/2013 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Alakanuk operates the piped water and wastewater system, the central watering point, flush tank and haul system, and washeteria/sauna service. The city council is the policy making body for the utility. There are 135 utility customers hooked up to the system. Water is derived from the slough, treated, stored in a tank, and piped to most of the community. New facilities include a water treatment plant, a heated 300,000-gallon water storage tank, a vacuum wastewater plant, a wastewater lagoon, arctic piping and household plumbing. The new subdivision has been completed with all homes connected to the piped system.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On April 24, 2013 the city administrator and bookkeeper were let go by the city council and an acting administrator was hired. The city hired a new administrator, bookkeeper/clerk, and receptionist in May 2013. All the new staff needs training. The new administrator has twenty six years of business experience. The bookkeeper has a year of accounting experience with the Alakanuk Traditional Tribal Council. RUBA staff traveled to Alakanuk on June 24-25, 2013 to work with the city administration and finance staff. While on-site RUBA staff assisted with the FY14 budget, FY12 CFS, assessing utility damage by the spring flood, unpaid payroll tax liabilities, bulk fuel loan, and payroll advances. Payroll is contracted out to a company that handles all payroll functions of the city, including payroll tax deposits and reporting. The city has a monthly agreement with the company and plan on taking back the payroll functions when the unpaid payroll tax liabilities are paid off. RUBA staff assisted city staff to get the finance reports completed to present to the city council for their approval starting in July 2013.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to monitor the utility and provide assistance and training when requested by the new administrative and finance staff.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
18 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
20 of 27
Total Score:
38 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.
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.
No 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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
A budget was adopted and passed for FY13. The city has not provided sufficient finance reports to RUBA staff since April 2012. Without the finance reports RUBA staff cannot justify that the city utility is receiving revenues sufficient to cover operating expenses. The city is more than one hundred twenty days past due on their AVEC billings for May 2013. The city administrator provides verbal reports to the council and these are recorded in the monthly meeting minutes, but did not provide copies of meeting minutes.

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 city utility ordinance was effective as of March 2008 and includes a collection policy. The collection policy identifies a grace period of 45 days for past due utility bills. RUBA staff has recommended adjusting the grace period to 30 days. The city bookkeeper is trying to reconstruct FY13 revenues and expenditures but records were either destroyed or non-existent. A updated accounting system is being set up with QuickBooks. Payroll was contracted out to a company that handles all payroll functions of the city, including payroll tax depositions and reporting. The city is also looking at ARUC to operate and maintain it's water and wastewater system.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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
IRS confirmed non-compliance on July 1, 2013. The city is missed filing 941 quarterly reports for the last three quarters of 2012 and first quarter of 2013. The state of Alaska Department of Labor deemed the city non-compliant, there is a balance due for the third and fourth quarters of 2012. City is not listed in the March-April 2013 IRS Lien Watch, but a notice of lien has been filed recently.

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
Alakanuk has workers compensation insurance according to the state division of workers compensation on July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013. Job openings are posted in at least three public places. There is a probationary period of three months for new hires. The city administrator provides on the job training for new employees and other training is given when funds are available.

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.
No 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
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
The city administrator was hired in May 2013 and has twenty six years of business experience and has experience using QuickBooks. The bookkeeper was hired in May 2013, she has a year of accounting experience with the Alakanuk Traditional Council. The City of Alakanuk provides water/wastewater services and operates a washeteria. The washeteria includes showers and saunas. The city held elections and certified the election results.The city council is active in reviewing and monitoring utility policies.

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.
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".
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 Alakanuk Water System did not clear the significant non-complier list on the April 2013 report. Alakanuk water treatment system is a Class 2 and the wastewater treatment system is Class 1. They have one operator, Kevin Joseph, who is certified as a water operator 1 and wastewater operator 1. He continues to attend training when possible.