Quarterly Report: 2011, July - September (Q1), Aleknagik

Barbara Higgins  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Aleknagik 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The majority of residents (roughly 49 homes) have household plumbing and most use individual wells. Approximately twelve households do not have water or sewer service-some haul water from the community center and a few are served by a spring well catchment system. Septic tanks, leachate fields, and a public sewage lagoon are used for sewage disposal. The North Shore uses eleven shared effluent pumps (REP units) which discharge into a piped wastewater system. Nushagak Electric Cooperatives in Dillingham provides electricity to Aleknagik. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff traveled to Aleknagik in July to assist the office staff with developing the annual budget. A hand written budget had been submitted to Juneau with a request to release the community revenue sharing funds. The totals for revenues and expenditures did not add up and the document included correctiosn hand written. The city is in transistion with no adminsitrator or clerk. RUBA staff and the acting clerk completed a correct budget for the city council to review and adopt. Additional RUBA assistance has included elections training, council vacancy research, bank reconcliations, fuel purchases, and finacial accounting procedures. Information was provided regarding the QuickBooks Help Line. The city conducted and certified the municipal elections, elected officers and a mayor this quarter. A new city clerk has taken office. Staffing continues to be an issue for the city office in regards to an administrator. A petition regarding local option was received from local lodge owners. RUBA staff provided assistance with the process. However local option law has been found to not cover the type of license being requested by the lodge. So for now the petition has been put on hold until the Alcohol Beverage Control Board can make a determination regarding the option and the need for an election.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to be available to the city staff, council and mayor and provide assistance upon request.
Essential Indicators:
20 of 23
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
41 of 50


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.
N/A 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.
Yes YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city uses QuickBooks accounting software. The city is current with utility bills. RUBA staff has provided to the mayor a list of interim managers that may assist the city during their search for an administrator. It is noted that the city has not received its FY11 community revenue share money due to the FY09 Certified Financial Statement not having been completed. City staff has advised that this was just completed and sent to Juneau. The city operates under a calendar year and work on the new budget is underway as well as amending and closing the FY10 budget. Expenses are exceeding revenues for September, October and November.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
N/A 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 adopted a sanitation ordinance based on a template published by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska in 2008. The ordinance includes a collections policy. The utility bills customers for septic pumping services and annually for households with a wastewater connection. Staff maintains an accounts receivable and accounts payable system using QuickBooks accounting software. Staff also uses QuickBooks for accounts payable and for payroll processing. Staff reconcile the bank accounts and utilize a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase. Staff has worked with the RUBA QuickBooks contractor completing all bank reconciliations and the payroll tax liabilities and has adequate training in performing the duties.

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
Staff maintains an accurate payroll processing system based on QuickBooks accounting software. The Tax Payer Advocate has provided the Federal Tax Information requested. The community on 01/07/11 was deemed compliant with federal tax deposits. The city is not on the Tax Lien List. On 12/20/10 the Alaska Department of Labor confirmed the city is meeting Alaska ESC tax obligations through the period 09/30/10.

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 Division of Worker's Compensation website indicate's the city's Insurance is purchased through Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association. Policy Number: 86 shows current on 12/23/10. The city utilizes a comprehensive personnel policy. Personnel folders are maintained and new hires are given opportunity for training and skills development.

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 council enforces policies associated with the utility. Utility customer collections are ongoing as outlined in the city water/sewer ordinance. City staff who provide septic pumping services are trained in heavy equipment operation. The city council meets as required and abides by open meetings requirements.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A 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.
No 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
The level of service of the utility has not required the employment of a water operator with extensive training and certification. City staff participating in the operation and maintenance of the septic pumping service and sewage lagoon are trained to operate required equipment. City staff have on file a basic preventative maintenance plan. The city is not found on the significant non complier list. Most residential customers on the north shore of the community utilize private septic tanks with privately-maintained pump systems connected to the sewer main. The public school maintains a private well and septic tank system. The city does not provide public water connections and is not presently required to complete an annual Consumer Confidence Report.