Quarterly Report: 2011, April - June (Q4), 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:
8/3/2011 
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:
On June 10, a Special Election was held in the City of Aleknagik to vote on a local-option ballot question: 'Shall the City of Aleknagik adopt a local option to allow the State of Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to issue licenses that will allow the sale of alcoholic beverages to: (1) Outdoor recreational lodge registered overnight guests for consumption at the outdoor recreational lodge; (2) Outdoor recreational lodge off-duty staff for consumption at the outdoor recreational lodge; (3) Outdoor recreational lodge registered overnight guests for consumption in conjunction with purchased outdoor recreational activities; and (4) Outdoor recreational lodge off-duty staff for consumption in conjunction with purchased outdoor recreational activities?' Dillingham LGS staff observed the election process at city hall. The preliminary results of the election were in favor of the option. The election results were certified June 16, 2011. The pre-clearance letter from the Department of Justice has been received by the city clerk. The Alcohol and Beverage Control Board has been notified of the outcome of the election as well the Department of Law and Department of Public Safety. LGS staff was able to assist the clerk with the election process and will continue to provide assistance with the ordinance changes needed to the municipal code. RUBA staff also assisted with the Certified Financial Statement and Budget.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Based on this assessment, a work plan and budget are being developed to deal with the problems. The work plan will be an effort to bring the community up to an acceptable management performance standard. Continued RUBA assistance to this community depends on the community meeting a baseline level of progress towards improvement. The Council needs to sign a RUBA Agreement that outlines the services this division will provide that stipulates the actions the city must take and continue to provide in order to receive the RUBA assistance. A new RUBA assessment is required as the two year shelf life has expired as of April 2011.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
20 of 25
Sustainable Indicators:
15 of 21
Total Score:
35 of 46

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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city uses QuickBooks for its financial accounting. The city has not adopted the CY11 budget and a current budget has not been submitted to Division of Community and Regional Affairs as required by law. The city operates on a calendar year. The bookkeeper provides the city council with monthly financial reports but the reports do not compare actual YTD revenues and expenses with the budget. The utility has an adequate fuel supply on hand. Fuel is transported to the village from Dillingham via skiffs. Fuel is secured in the fall for the city's own use. RUBA staff has insufficient information to determine operating expenses or year to date revenues are or at a level equal to or above those budgeted as the budget process remains incomplete. The meeting minutes indicate that there has not been a managerial report on the utility.

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 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. Invoices are entered when paid. RUBA staff is unable to confirm whether or not there are unpaid invoices. The bookkeeper is proficient in the use of QuickBooks: all payroll records are up to date though May 2011. The bookkeeper writes a receipt for any income received. A copy of every receipt is kept in a sequentially numbered permanent receipt books and is entered into the computerized accounting system weekly. All payments are made by check. Every check includes an amount, an expense account, and a description of what the payment is for. The data for every check written is recorded in the check register. The utility's chart of accounts identifies all asset accounts, bank accounts, and all liability accounts, and fund balances. Income and expense accounts are identified in a manner that matches the income and expense line items in the budget. Bank reconciliations are completed through May 2011. The utility requires purchase orders for all proposed purchases. All purchase orders must be approved by the utility manager.

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.
Yes 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 June 27, 2011 RUBA staff received confirmation from the Department of Labor and the IRS that the city is current with all tax reports and deposits. The utility is not found on the most recent lien watch (April 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.
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
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 June 9, 2011 check of the Division of Worker's Compensation website confirmed that the policy is in effect. A copy of personnel policies adopted August 2002 and updated May 2011, is on file with RUBA staff. Job descriptions are up to date and expressly outline each employee's required duties. RUBA staff has copies of the job description on file. The evaluation process is described in the utility's personnel policies. RUBA staff has a copy of the utility's personnel evaluation form on file. The mayor performs employee evaluations. The hiring process is described in the utilities personnel policies and is on file with RUBA staff. During the most recent on-site visit (June 2011) RUBA staff confirmed that personnel files contained the required forms. The probationary period for new hires is 90 days, as described in the personnel policy. New hires are evaluated at the end of the probationary period.

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.
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 been received by RUBA staff to confirm that the city council is taking an active role in enforcing utility policy. RUBA staff has 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
N/A 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.
N/A 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.
N/A The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
N/A The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
N/A The utility maintains an inventory control list.
N/A 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.