Quarterly Report: 2014, April - June (Q4), Alakanuk

Community:
Alakanuk 
Staff:
Ken Berlin  
DCRA Regional Office:
Bethel regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
Yes 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Alakanuk 
Population:
704 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
9/11/2008 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
6/25/2014 
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:
RUBA staff, upon request, provided the city of Alakanuk, administrative and finance staff with a sample gaming ordinance to use as a guide in developing their own gaming ordinance. The city uses the gaming funds to subsidize the water and wastewater operations. RUBA staff on request by the city administration reviewed the FY15 city budget, this budget was passed in mid June. The budget is balanced and realistic and only had a typo or miscalculation in one area of the budget. The city bookkeeper resigned in early May and a new bookkeeper was hired. The new bookkeeper needs training and an onsite visit is scheduled for mid July. The city administrator was hired in the spring of 2013 and has over twenty years of running his own personal business. A lawsuit against the city of Alakanuk was filed in late March 2014, the outcome of that is still pending. In early May one of the city employee had an accident during working hours, but that is being taken care of by the city's insurance broker. The city is still doing recovery work from the big storm last November 2013 with FEMA grants. The city has IRS liens from the tax periods; 2009/12, 2012/3, 2012/09, and 2012/12. The city has a contract with Automatic Data Procedures to do their payroll and payroll tax deposits and quarterly reports. And they are now working on these IRS levies. Once the IRS issues are resolved the city will take back the administration of the payroll system and payroll tax deposits and quarterly reports. The state DOL/ESC 2014 1st quarterly report and tax payment is not received yet as of June 25, 2014, but according to the city administrator the 2014 1st quarterly report was filed and taxes were paid by Automatic Data Procedures and as recorded in the city's bank statement for that period. Apparently, the city has two state I.D. numbers and the city is working on to eliminate one of the I.D. numbers with the state DOL. The city is on the SNC listing for April 2014.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA assessment and training for new bookkeeper in mid July 2014.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
25 of 27
Total Score:
50 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
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.
Finances Comments
The city adopted a balanced budget for FY14. The finance reports are up to date to with meeting minutes. The city is current to May 2014 based on AVEC billings. The city ordered and received fuel last fall 2013 and the city is applying for a new bulk fuel loan for the delivery in 2014 season. The city is receiving revenues sufficient to cover operating expenses for the water and wastewater system and other city facilities. The city administrative and finance staff reports to the city council during their regular city council meetings every first Tuesday of every month. Budget amendments are completed and adopted when necessary.

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 has a water and wastewater ordinance passed in 2008 with a collection policy. A new water and wastewater ordinance sample was sent to update the 2008 policy. The accounting system is set up with QuickBooks but the previous administrative and finance staff did not upkeep the system properly. The new administrative and finance staff is still working on updating the system and setting up the billing system, accounts receivables and payables, payroll system, cash receipts and disbursement system. The finance staff just attended a QuickBooks training in March 2014 and RUBA staff recommend that she work with Turnagain Press in making corrective entries in order for QuickBooks to produce accurate finance reports. Turnagain Press is contracted by DCRA to provide QuickBooks technical assistance.

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.
No 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
The city is not in compliance with the IRS as of 3/17/14 and has a lien for the tax period 2012/03-09-12. The city is non-compliant with the state DOL/ESC up to March 2014. Currently, the city's payroll is contracted out to Automated Data Procedures. The city is working with ADP on the IRS liens, once settled the city will start doing it's own payroll. The state DOL/ESC 2014 1st quarterly report and tax payment is not received yet as of June 25, 2014, but according to the city administrator the 2014 1st quarterly report was filed and taxes were paid by Automatic Data Procedures and as recorded in the city's bank statement for that period. Apparently, the city has two state I.D. numbers and the city is working to eliminate one of the I.D. numbers with the state DOL.

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 workers compensation insurance coverage through Alaska Public Entity Insurance 7/1/13 to 7/1/14. The city has personnel policies which was reviewed by AML. The utility has written job descriptions for all positions and follows a written personnel evaluation process based on the job description. The recruitment and hiring of personnel are on the basis of merit principles only. Job openings are posted in three public places for a minimum of fourteen days. All applicants must file a job application for all positions in the city. The city council makes all appointments of all city staff. The probationary period is three months and evaluations are done annually thereafter. Training is provided to staff as training opportunities become 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.
Yes 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 of Alakanuk owns and operates the piped water and wastewater system and all facilities. The city council is the policy making body for the utility and is actively involved in policy making and enforcement of the policies. The city administrator is the manager of the utility and was hired in May of 2013. He has over twenty years of experience operating his own personal business and is familiar with QuickBooks. The bookkeeper was hired in May of 2014 and has experience as a bookkeeper, but needs to get more training in QuickBooks. The city has two water and wastewater operators and they continue to attend trainings. The city has an organizational chart which is updated annually. The policy making body meets on first Tuesday of each month and complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.

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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The city has a water treatment class 2, water distribution class 2, wastewater collection class 1, and wastewater lagoon. The city has two utility operators one of which holds a certificate for Small Water System Treated. Both operators are actively working towards certification. The utility is on the April 2014 SNC list and a current CCR was sent to DEC on April 2, 2014.