Quarterly Report: 2013, July - September (Q1), Kwethluk

Ken Berlin  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Kwethluk 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Kwethluk owns and operates the water treatment plant, washeteria, garbage collection, and honey-bucket haul system for the community. The city council, advised by the sanitation committee, is the policy making body for the utility. The city provides raw sewage and solid waste hauling services for 108 of its residential homes for $30 per month per household. Hoppers are located throughout the community for the honey-bucket haul system; these hoppers are hauled to the sewage lagoon on a regular basis. The school and teacher housing operate on its own well water system that's maintained by the Lower Kuskokwim School District. The city offices, washeteria, and ATCO trailers are connected to the city's flush system and water treatment plant. The washeteria, constructed in 1985, has been operating since 1986. The community's one watering point is located at the washeteria which charges .20 cents per gallon. Residents haul water from the local river for personal use and gather ice and rain water for drinking. Very few homes have running water or plumbing for showers, but many have sauna/steam bath houses. Kuiggluum Kallugvia provides the communities electric services and the city operates the landfill and sewage lagoon. A community wide water and sewer sanitation project is on-going which includes construction of the new lagoon and piped water and sewer lines. The base lift for the new lagoon has been completed; expected completion date is end of 2011. Grant funding for the community's sanitation projects have been awarded and are funded by USDA Rural Development, Village Safe Water Act, EPA Clean Water Act, and Indian Health Services. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) is the community's contracted engineering service.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Finance reports up to February 2012 with meeting are on file but current reports through August 2012 were not sent in to RUBA. Electric billings to February 2012 for the washeteria are on file but current billings to August 2012 are needed. IRS confirmed non-compliance on September 20, 2012. The State Department of Labor confirmed compliance up to March 31, 2012. On June 6, 2012 the Mayor of the City of Kwethluk called with questions on how to proceed with applying sales tax to Gaming in Kwethluk. RUBA staff recommend that the Mayor sent a copy of the sales tax ordinance so staff could review it. After reviewing the ordinance staff recommend the ordinance was sufficient for the City Council to start applying the sales tax to local Gaming organizations. A balanced FY13 budget is on file, but no finance reports. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
An updated on-site RUBA assessment is recommended in the near future to ensure grant funding for the communities piped water and sewer sanitation project. RUBA staff will continue efforts to assist the community in meeting essential and sustainable indicator compliance.
Essential Indicators:
22 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
24 of 27
Total Score:
46 of 53


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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
An FY13 Annual Budget was adopted and is on file. Administration provides the sanitation committee and city council a customer monthly aging report and a finance report with the budget, monthly, yearly, and balance figures. Finance reports are up to date to February 2012 with meeting minutes to verify council's monthly review of financial documents. A copy of February 2012 billing from the Kuiggluum Kallugvia Electric Company indicated that the city is current in paying their electric bill but August 2012 billing was not provided. The city uses annually budgeted funds to purchase fuel from Crowley Marine Services. City received its remaining 8,000 gallons in July 2012 which is a sufficient amount to last through winter months.

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 billing and collection policies are established in Resolution #07-04-04 adopted on May 8, 2007 and Ordinance #99-08-17, adopted on November 16, 1998. Nonpayment of 4 consecutive monthly bills results in the city removing a resident's honey bucket hopper. Both documents are on file at the Bethel regional office for review. The city uses QuickBooks for all accounting and payroll purposes. Monthly utility bills are generated from QuickBooks and sent to customers by the 15 of each month as required by city ordinance. The utility clerk writes a receipt for any income received then enters that information into QuickBooks accounting system. A check is issued for all payments. The check includes the amount and a description of what the payment is for. This information is entered into the QuickBooks accounting system; a copy of the check along with a copy of the invoice is filed.

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.
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
The city uses QuickBooks accounting program to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities. Email correspondence with the Alaska Department of Labor indicated the community is current with its employment security compensation tax payments and deposits as of March 31, 2012. On September 20, 2012 the IRS deemed the City non-compliant. The community was not on the July-August 2012, Lien Watch report.

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 community's worker compensation policy is valid and in effect until July 2013.

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's utility ordinance identifies the city as the owner and operator of the utility. Legislation approved by the council confirms that the council and sanitation department committee review utility policies and rates and make changes as needed. The manager, bookkeeper, and operator are competent in their positions. The city established the utilities rules and regulations in Resolution #07-04-04 adopted on May 8, 2007 and Ordinance #99-08-17, adopted on November 16, 1998.

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
Plant operator has certification equivalent to the classification of service of the water treatment plant. A copy of the preventative maintenance plan was obtained by RUBA staff and is on file at the regional office. As of October, 2011, the community was not on Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list.