Quarterly Report: 2008, January - March (Q3), Atka

Community:
Atka 
Staff:
Earl Gibson  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Atka 
Population:
90  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/7/2008 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The community system was constructed in 1978 and was expanded in 1982 to a new housing area. Water is supplied by a stream and wooden reservoir dam northwest of the City. It is stored in two 30,000-gallon water tanks before distribution. All 50 homes are connected to the piped water and sewer system and are plumbed. Sewage is piped to a central septic system. Wastewater flows untreated through outfall lines into Nazan Bay. Garbage is collected twice a week. The City has requested funds to increase water capacity, replace the water treatment system, replace connections, and treat the sewage outfall. Hydroelectric potential is under development at Chuniisax Creek. Electricity is provided by Andreanof Electric Corporation. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On February 7, 2008, RUBA staff met with Kim Clarkson, Atka City Administrator, who resides in Anchorage, to complete a RUBA Assessment of Management Capacity Indicators. The administrator provided documentation supporting the conclusions in this report. Specific documents used in this report are available with RUBA staff for review. RUBA staff will continue to work with the New Administrator to resolve any problems or issues.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
By implementing the above recommendations, the city will put itself into position to better meet unanticipated financial costs and ensure that employees are aware of their conditions of employment. The new Atka Administrator was open and helpful with providing information to complete this assessment. She realizes the importance of community health, financial stability, effective utility management practice and sustainability. RUBA staff is available to provide assistance for any sustainable capacity indicators that are not being met.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
24 of 27
Total Score:
50 of 53

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
Currently, the city provides water and sewer treatment services with billing services separate from the electric. All electricity is charged through POWERSTAT system by using a pre-pay card system with the customer. The future plan is to have all services under one system with one payment. The city only subsidizes the residential customers that do not pay water/sewer. Commercial customers are paying their bills as they receive them. Atka is home to Atka Pride Seafoods and because of this processor, Atka receives significant fish tax revenues annually. The city provided a balanced budget. The balance sheet identifies reserves in Merrill Lynch, current assets of diesel and gasoline inventory, and values for fixed assets. Monthly Finance reports provided to the governing body are Profit and Loss Budget vs. Actual. They identify year-to-date expenditures, adopted budget, and amount remaining over/under budget. A more accurate budget is being worked on by the new administrator and clear definition will be provided.

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 accounting system uses online QuickBooks Pro. The new City Administrator is responsible for accounting functions. She has an accounting background, running her own business and pays strict attention to detail. She lives and maintains a city office in Anchorage and visits Atka when the need arises. The new administrator prefers to use a numbered chart of accounts (COA). The Atka COA has balance totals for all assets, liabilities, and equity. The COA was drafted by the administrator and customized to her work style. Currently, it is detailed with the same expenditure item used in each department and given a different number for each department. The new administrator is in the process of making changes that best fit her style of management. The city does have an adopted purchasing system. The mayor approves city purchases within a limited amount. Major purchases are approved by the administrator and all purchases must be within the adopted budget.

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.
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.
Tax Problems Comments
IRS and DOL deem the City of Atka compliant with tax issues at this time.

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 city has purchased a Workers Compensation policy through AML/JIA for the year July 1, 2007 through July 1, 2008. It is posted in plain view in the Anchorage office and the city office. Employment recruitment is done within the city first. Every original appointment and every promotional appointment of permanent employees is subject to a probationary period of three months from the date of appointment. An evaluation of performance completed at the end of the probationary period and thereafter, on their anniversary date.

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 new Atka Administrator maintains an office in Anchorage and travels to Atka when necessary. The Mayor and City Council are responsible for daily supervision of staff including supervision of the Administrator. The administrator's office is connected to Atka via fax, e-mail, and phone. The Administrator previously worked a number of years handling accounting in her own personal business. Her duties include grant writing, grant administration, planning, council meeting preparation, finances, and preparing reports. The city has two operators, one currently certified in water treatment and in wastewater treatment. They are paid $17.65 /hr and work full-time. They both have additional duties in other city departments. The Atka City Council meets monthly for regular meetings. The Administrator schedules special meetings when the need arises. All meetings comply with the Open Meeting Act. The city has adopted a Water/Sewer Utility ordinance. The ordinance provides for flat rate service fees for four classes: residential, public facility, commercial, and contract. Currently the city is not charging for water/sewer services and subsidizes the utilities and public services with general funds. The city has adopted an organizational chart that identifies positions and duties for each position.

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".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
One utility operator has the necessary certification and the back-up operator is working towards certification. The utility has adopted a preventative maintenance plan for the existing sanitation facilities. The water operators provide verbal reports to the Mayor. The city administrator provides written reports to the governing body. The new administrator will check on the issue of safety meetings and find out if they are reported to the Mayor also. The Community Confidence Report completed and distributed is formatted in a very inviting manner, a manner that hooks a reader and still maintains the informative and educational impact. New administrator will be actively working with the community to develop both an inventory control list and a critical spare parts list. The City Administrator attended the RUBA sponsored Financial Management for Utility Managers class and the Power Cost Equilization training in Anchorage, held February 11-15 and March 4-6, 2008.