Quarterly Report: 2011, January - March (Q3), Aleknagik

Community:
Aleknagik 
Staff:
Barbara Higgins  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Aleknagik 
Population:
237  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/4/2011 
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:
During this quarter the city hired a new city administrator. A report of contact was made, and the city contacted their legislative representative regarding the RUBA assessment. The city was contacted by Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) staff regarding not meeting the essential indicators. RUBA staff has requested time sensitive information to meet quarterly reporting requirements. The city has not responded to the request for documentation which is affecting the outcome of the assessment. The assessment is a snap shot in time and if the city is not reporting adequately and timely then RUBA staff is not able to provide timely reports showing the entity is meeting essential sustainability requirements.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will provide assistance to help the utility do the following: 1)Identify if the 2011 budget has been adopted and get it filed with DCRA 2)Assist with how to prepare Monthly Financial Reports 3)Acquire copies for the RUBA regional office files of the personnel policy, job descriptions and personnel evaluation forms. 4)Set up a quarterly report appointment via phone or in person to assist the community with getting on board with timely reporting requirements. 5)Conduct a new RUBA assessment as the two year shelf life is due to expire during the next quarter. 04/2011
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
16 of 25
Sustainable Indicators:
7 of 25
Total Score:
23 of 50

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.
N/A 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.
N/A Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city uses QuickBooks for its financial accounting. RUBA staff does not have confirmation that the budget was adopted and it has not been submitted to Division of Community and Regional Affairs as required by law. The city operates on a calendar year. RUBA staff has not received copies of the monthly financial reports for the three previous months comparing actual YTD revenues and expenses to the budget. RUBA staff is unable to verify, due to lack of reporting, that the utility has an adequate fuel supply on hand, has revenues sufficient to cover operating expenses or that year-to-date revenues are or at a level equal to or above those budgeted.

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.
No 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
The utility billing and collection procedures are included in the utility ordinance adopted in 2008. RUBA staff has a copy of the approved ordinance on file. The utility bills customers for septic pumping services and annually for households with a wastewater connection. The utility bookkeeper uses QuickBooks 2010 for financial recordkeeping and all payroll records. RUBA staff is unable to confirm how much the utility owes and to who it is owed. The utility staff has worked with the RUBA QuickBooks contractor completing all bank reconciliations in past quarters; RUBA staff is unable to confirm whether or not the reconciliation's are up to date.

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 2010 accounting software to accurately calculate, track and report payroll tax liabilities. On March 16, 2011 RUBA staff received confirmation from the Department of Labor that the city is current with all tax reports and deposits. RUBA staff is unable to confirm compliance with the IRS tax reports and deposits because the utility did not return the authorization to request this information. The utility is not found on the most recent lien watch (February 2011).

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.
No 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.
Yes 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
According to the Notice of Insurance, workers compensation insurance is provided by the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011. A March 30, 2011 check of the Division of Worker's Compensation website confirmed that the policy is in effect. RUBA does not have confirmation that the personnel policies that were adopted in August 2002 are being used; they are not on file with RUBA staff. Job descriptions, personnel evaluation forms and a written hiring policy have not been filed with RUBA staff.

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.
No 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.
No The policy making body meets as required.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The utility ordinance identifies the city as the owner and operator of the utility. Council meeting minutes confirmed that the council reviews the utility policies and rate on an annual basis, and makes changes as needed. Meeting minutes for the past three months have not been received by RUBA staff to confirm that the city council is taking an active role in enforcing utility policy. RUBA staff has not received verification that the utility operator is providing monthly reports to the governing body. The bookkeeper has been in her position for one and a half years. She has not attended any RUBA classes to date. The utility is a Class 1 Water Treatment System. According to the ADCE website, the utility operator has the required level of training and certification for this system.

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
No 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.
No The utility has a safety manual and holds safety meetings.
No Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
No The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed.
No The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
N/A 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.
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. The primary operator according has a Water Treatment-1 certification that expires 2012 and has the required CEU's. City staff have a basic preventative maintenance plan on file. The city is not on the significant non- complier (SNC) 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.