Quarterly Report: 2008, April - June (Q4), Aleknagik

Community:
Aleknagik 
Staff:
Ralph Andrew  
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:
7/31/2008 
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:
At the request of the City of Aleknagik, RUBA staff travel to the community and completed an Assessment of Management Indicators on April 17, 2008. The assessment is a special grant condition the city anticipates for community water/sewer project funding. The city is presently satisfying all of the RUBA essential indicators. The city is working with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) to assess water/sewer infrastructure design options in the community and is presently reviewing options for improvements that will serve to protect public health in the long term. RUBA has been in contact with the new city administrator and maintained contact with the city clerk during the transition in administrators. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The City of Aleknagik is presently satisfying all of the RUBA essential capacity indicators. RUBA will continue to coordinate assistance any requests with the ANTHC utility business support specialist and ANTHC project engineer assigned to Aleknagik.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
23 of 27
Total Score:
49 of 53

Finances

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.
Yes Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
Yes 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.
Yes 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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The utility budget is balanced and realistic. City staff provides the council with a detailed monthly financial report using QuickBooks accounting software and now reports year-to-date revenue and expenditure figures for the sanitation utility with a supplement spreadsheet-based report. Current year-to-date utility revenues are covering reported expenditures. Sufficient fuel is on hand and electric bills are being paid timely. A monthly manager's report is prepared by the city administrator and is documented in city council minutes.

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 city adopted a sanitation ordinance based on a template publisehd by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska during the second quarter of 2008. The ordinance includes a collections policy. The utility bills customers for services provided (septic pumping) and maintains customer balances using QuickBooks accounting software. Staff uses QuickBooks for accounts receivable, payable, and for payroll processing.

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
Staff maintains an accurate payroll processing system based on QuickBooks accounting software. On June 5, 2008 RUBA obtained final confirmation from the Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Advocate Service showing federal tax compliance for the two EIN numbers provided by the city. City staff provided RUBA with documentation indicating compliance with Alaska unemployment tax obligations.

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 city's Employer's Notice of Insurance, purchased through Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association, Inc. indicates a coverage period of 7/1/2007 to 7/1/2008. The city utilizes a comprehensive personnel policy and in recent months participated in a community-wide safety and emergency preparedness policy development process in coordination with local entities and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

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. Staff are experienced and well-trained but have seen some turnover in support positions including that of city administrator and maintenance foreman. The new city administrator is presently transitioning into the role and maintains contact with RUBA. City staff who provide septic pumping services are trained in heavy equipment operation.

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.
No 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.
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 necessitated the employment of a water operator with extensive training and certification. City staff who participate in the operation and maintenance of the septic pumping service and sewage lagoon are trained to operate required equipment. City staff provided RUBA a copy of a basic preventative maintenance plan. RUBA recommends regular safety meetings and suggests participation in no-cost or low-cost training offered by the city's insurance provider. Concerning operations, most of the residential customers on the north shore of the community utilize private septic tanks with privately-maintained pump systems connected to the sewer main which in turn is connected to the sewage lagoon. The public school also maintains a private well and septic tank system. The city does not provide public water connections and is not presently required to complete a Consumer Confidence Report.