Quarterly Report: 2007, January - March (Q3), Alakanuk

Community:
Alakanuk 
Staff:
Paul Chimiugak  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Alakanuk 
Population:
678  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/1/2007 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Alakanuk operates the piped water and sewer 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. Construction began in 1995 to provide piped water and sewer to 170 homes and the school. In 1998, 83 homes, the school and teacher's housing were first connected. Today, there are 132 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, heated 300,000-gallon water storage tank, vacuum sewage plant, sewage lagoon, arctic piping and household plumbing. The new subdivision has been completed with all homes connected to the piped system. There are plans to hook up the other side of the river in the near future. The new airport construction is on-going. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Alakanuk continues to have IRS issues and has not secured worker's compensation insurance. Until these two major essential indicators are met, Alakanuk sanitation projects may be in jeapordy. Once again there has been a turn over in the administraition. The Administrator has resigned to return to his home village for personal reasons. The Bethel staff has not received a copy of the resignation letter. One of the council members is the acting administrator until they hire a permanent administrator. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will provide a sample purchase procedure for the City; continue to request monthly financial reports; ensure the bank reconciliations are done for all accounts; request latest IRS/DOL notices and letters; request notification of current insurance policy; provide information required for personnel folders; and continue requesting an organizational chart.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
20 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
22 of 27
Total Score:
42 of 54

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
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.
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
There were a few inconsistencies in the current FY07 budget. The administrator was made aware of these inconsistencies and will review the budget with the council. A monthly financial report has not been sent to the Bethel office.

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.
No 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
An accounts receivable system is in place, and tracks the customer billings and payments. An accounts payable system is in place to track vendor bills and payments. There is a need to catch up on bank reconciliations for all of the accounts. In speaking with the bookkeeper, the purchasing procedure for the utility is acceptable, however, there is room for improvement in how it is followed. There is a purchase order book used that requires a signature before purchases can be made, but sometimes purchases are made without referring to the city budget. The bookkeeper has been keeping the cash account within the $8,000 to $10,000 range in case of emergencies, and has stressed to the council that utility funds are to be kept only for the utility, and should not be included in the general funds.

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 had put a lien on the assets and bank accounts of the city and released them on December 2006 and put a lien on them again, this time the IRS Officer said that he will travel to Alakanuk to talk to the council about the taxes. The City is trying to keep current with their taxes. The city might also be falling behind on the quarterly reporting requirements according to the acting administrator. The previous bookkeeper, who had resigned, was contacted by the council to go to the office to assist the current bookkeeper make the reports, which she agreed to do.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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 Administrator has resigned and returned to his home village with his family for subsistence reasons, also for commercial fishing season preparation. One of the city council members is the acting administrator until a permanent administrator is hired.

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.
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
No 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 council has been enforcing collections with delinquent customers by disconnecting them if they don't make payments. There is also an incentive to reward customers that make several months advance payment. The incentive is that if a customer makes a five month advance payment ($350.), they get one month free service. If a customer makes ten months advance payment ($700.)they get two months free service.

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".
No The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
Kevin Joseph the alternate water/sewer operator is in training in Bethel.