Quarterly Report: 2008, October - December (Q2), 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:
1/24/2008 
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:
RUBA staff contacted Alakanuk several times this quarter while monitoring the RUBA management assessment. Funded sanitation projects for Alakanuk continue to be withheld as Alakanuk does not meet essential indicators of the management assessment. While the city staff did provide a 2008 budget and a monthly finance report, the revenue information was not included. The City has not been successful in securing workers' compensation insurance. RUBA staff facilitated negotiations with an insurance company which resulted in lowering the premiums and coverage, however, the City was unable to pay the reduced quote.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to request monthly financial reports; offer assistance with bank reconciliations; 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:
14 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
14 of 27
Total Score:
28 of 54

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
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
The City completed the FY08 budget; however, without the revenue portions included in monthly finance reports, RUBA is unable to know if the budget is balanced and realistic. The FY06 certified financial statement is still required prior to receiving the FY08 Community Energy Assistance Program funds.

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.
No An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts.
No 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.
No 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 sends out monthly statements to customers, and the water plant operator has been disconnecting delinquent customers. Bank reconciliations have not been completed in recent months. Purchase order approval procedures need to be updated or implemented. The bookkeeper has not completed revenue reports.

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.
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
The City is current with quarterly payroll tax reports according to the IRS; however, there is a past due balance. The IRS removed a tax lien this quarter. Alakanuk will need to continue monthly reports and deposits and negotiate with the IRS regarding a payment plan for past due amounts.

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.
No The utility has adopted and follows a written personnel evaluation process that ties the job description to the evaluation.
No 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.
No 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 is operating without insurance at this time because insufficient funds are available. There has been a new administrator since January 2007 who is very organized and dependable. He has been encouraged to begin an evaluation process of present employees. I-9 forms need to be completed by the city employees.

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
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 is enforcing collections and the water plant operator disconnects delinquent water/sewer customers. The administrator would benefit by attending utility management classes and the new bookkeepers may need further training in financial management.

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 alternate water operator is now certified as a water operator after receiving training in Bethel. The lead water plant operator has been an operator for 24+ years, but his certificates have expired. The water plant has been getting spare parts when needed. The utility is on the SNC list for Surface Water and Stage 1 violations. The earliest possible return to compliance would be in June 2008.