Quarterly Report: 2009, April - June (Q4), Lower Kalskag

Community:
Lower Kalskag 
Staff:
Flora Olrun  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Lower Kalskag 
Population:
253  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
8/10/2009 
Community Sanitation Overview:
An 85-foot well provides water, which is treated and piped to most homes and the school. The school, clinic, and over 40% of homes use individual septic tanks and have complete plumbing. A 10,000-gallon community septic tank allows for piped sewage collection to part of the village. Funds have been requested to connect the 20 remaining homes using septic tanks to the piped sewer system, due to effluent ponding. The community also needs a washeteria and watering point. Refuse is burned or buried at a new landfill located between Kalskag and Lower Kalskag. Electricity is provided by AVEC. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Alaska Rural Utilities Cooperative provides full management and operation services to Lower Kalskag's water and sewer system. ARUC has provided RUBA a monthly financial statement ending May, 2009. The monthly report contains FY 2009 Budget. ARUC has no issues with Internal Revenue Service and State of Alaska Employmnet Security Taxes. Lower Kalskag is currently not on the SNC Non-complier List dated January, 2009. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to try work with Lower Kalskag on RUBA related issues.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
27 of 27
Total Score:
54 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
Yes 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.
Finances Comments
Monthly finance reports and budget reports are prepared by ARUC as two separate documents. RUC prepares and sends out (to the community on a monthly basis) a financial report showing revenues and expenditures for both Lower Kalskagsystem as well as for the 'Central Administration.' This report lists expenses and revenue categories with columns showing amounts for 'This Month,' 'Last Month,' and 'Year to Date.' The budget process begins with the RUC Manager and accountant drafting a budget using the previous years actual and next year's projections. Future projects or plans are considered when making the projections. The budget is submitted for YKHC-RUC board approval. Typically the budget is not amended. If the manager notes an amount of $1000 over or under the budgeted amount, a form is filled out and submitted to finance to correct the varience. Fuel for the utilities is supplied by the city. The operators in Lower Kalskag self-report fuel consumption. RUC has intigated fuel use efficiency and accountability practices that have substantially lowered the consumption and expense in the community.

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 utility charges a flat rate for residential customers. The rate is a combined bill of $70 for both water/sewer, $50 for water only or water is available at a watering point for self-haul. Septic pump outs are charged $200 each. Bills are mailed at the end of each month. Payments of money orders or checks only are sent to a lock box at Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo emails a list of payments daily to RUC office in Bethel. A hand written receipt is issued at time of payment. RUC also uses QuickBooks Pro for accounting purposes. Bills are sent at the end of every month. They are considered unpaid 20 days later. Thirty days after that, the operators are given a list to place pink door hangers on alerting customers that service will be shut off in three days. RUC strictly enforces the three day notice. Payment plans are offeredd, however the manager noted that many customers do not honor the payment plan. NSF checks are submitted to a collection agency. Through the MOA, RUC has the authority to change customer rates. The manager and accountant make recommendations to the advisory board who votes support or non-support of the request. A vote of support is sent on to the YKHC Board of Directors for action.

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
Paper time cards are submitted to the YKHC who calculates, tracks, and reports payroll liabilities through a computer system. A signed tax authorization form was provided by the YKHC-RUC as the utility is an enterprise system included in their tax payer EIN number. The IRS deemed the taxpayer in compliance with federal employment tax filings, federal tax deposits, and noted that no recorded Notice of Federal Tax Lien has been filed. The STATE DOL reports the YKHC is in compliance at this time. This tax information pertains to the management of the utility only.

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
The utility has a posted worker's compensation insurance policy through Alaska National Insurance Company for the period from 10/01/2008 through 10/01/2009. The insurance covers all employees of RUC including the operators in Lower Kalskag. All RUC employees follow the YKHC adopted personnel policy. This policy was reviewed by an attorney. Employees are at-will hire. An evaluation is performed at 90 days and one year from hire. The blank evaluation form is attached to the position decription and presented to the employee upon hire. All new hires attend a corporate orientation for 2 1/2 days in Bethel for instruction regarding company policies, procedures, and department specific orientation. Onsite training is also provided.

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
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 of Lower Kalskag signed a Memorandum of Agreement with YKHC-RUC to opearte the utility. The MOA was signed for two years with option for renewal. YKHC-RUC has an advisory board that meets three times a year to recommend policy and procedures via letters of support to the YKHC Board of Directors. The YKHC Board of Directors has the authority to set rates, adopt ordinances, policy and procedure for the Lower Kalskag utility. The RUC Manager also is diligent in personally attending city council meetings of all RUC communities. RUC hired Lee Piper as project manager/accountant. The project manager is responsible to oversee the accounting procedures for all RUC communities. YKHC finance department tracks and issues payroll.

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
Copies of operator certification and preventative maintenance plan were submitted and area available upon request. A 'Safety Guidelines for Utility Oeprators' guide is provided to all operators. Safety training is provided in conjunction with regularly scheduled opeartions training. The utility has not suffered any major problems/outage due to management issues. Water and sewer services are offered to residents and the elementary school. The high school maintains its own well. A project to change the pressure system for the entire system is planned for this winter.