Quarterly Report: 2009, July - September (Q1), Akhiok

Community:
Akhiok 
Staff:
Tammy Helms  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Akhiok 
Population:
33  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
11/17/2008 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a dam and reservoir on a small stream, is treated and stored. Akhiok provides a piped gravity water and sewer system that serves all 25 homes in the community. The community is currently boiling its drinking water -- a new water source is needed. A new landfill site is under development. Electricity is provided by City of Akhiok. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff traveled to the City of Akhiok October 27 and met with Vice-Mayor Dan McCoy to conduct a RUBA management assessment. The vice-mayor 'wears many hats' in the community, including vice-mayor, water operator, electric utility operator, and maintenance, and it was apparent during the visit that he is becoming overwhelmed with all the demands of the various positions and is in need of some relief. The City of Akhiok is currently not meeting all RUBA essential management indicators relating to the accounting system and the collection rate for the water/sewer/garbage utility services. Residents are charged a flat rate of $30 for water/sewer/garbage and $150 for electric (seniors and singles are charged $50 for electric). The collection rate is reportedly anywhere from 50% to almost 100%; the actual figure could not be verified with accounting records. The City of Akhiok will have to be proactive and consistent in order to make necessary changes that will satisfy the deficient RUBA essential indicators. RUBA staff will continue to provide assistance to the community and work towards meeting all RUBA indicators. The community should be congratulated on purchasing 23,000 gallons of fuel with no outside lender. The fuel will be used only for the electric generators.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to work with the City of Akhiok to meet the unmet indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
19 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
10 of 27
Total Score:
29 of 54

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.
No 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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The City of Akhiok drafted, adopted and submitted a balanced FY 09 budget. All revenue and expenses for the water/sewer utility are listed within the budget. Currently no financial reports are being prepared or submitted to the policy making body. The city owns the electric generator that supplies electricity to the community and operates the electric company. Electricity is not billed to the inter-facilities of the city. The city recently purchased approximately 23,000 gallons of diesel for the generators. The community should be congratulated on purchasing the fuel independently without an outside lending source. The water and sewer revenues are not sufficient to cover operating expenses; therefore the city subsidizes its water and sewer utility with a combination of the community revenue sharing funds from the State of Alaska and office space rental from the local Native Corporation.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
No 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.
No 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
Currently the city has not adopted a collection policy. It is recommended the Council draft, adopt and implement a collection policy immediately. The city utilizes Corel WordPerfect for the monthly billing. The city began charging $30 for water/sewer/garbage in April 2008; before that time customers were not being charged for service. Each monthly invoice shows the date of billing, description of services, amount due, amount paid and total amount due. Because they use a WordPerfect program for billing there is no way to report on past due accounts and amounts other than manually calculating off of the WordPerfect program. Due to the small size of the community, this manual system for reporting is sufficient for accounts receivable. For accounts payable and payroll there is no computerized system; however they have a manual system in place that appears to be effective. The current system for cash receipts to record incoming money is for staff to write a receipt of payment to the customer, enter the payment within the word perfect system under the customers name then the Mayor or Vice Mayor makes a deposit to the bank. The city currently uses a checkbook register to record who checks are written to. This system does not accurately reflect which class or account the funds are to be expended from.

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.
Yes The utility is current on making tax deposits.
Yes 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 IRS has reported the city has not filed 941 returns for the 4th quarter of 2007 and the first three quarters of 2008. The city has also not yet filed the third quarter Department of Labor report.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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.
No The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
The City of Akhiok currently does not have any workers' compensation insurance policy. The city's current hiring process is historical and is not written. Job notices are posted with the job title and description for 10 days. Interested applicants apply at the city office. There is currently no personnel policy or current job descriptions for employees. Training opportunities to staff are provided as funds allow or opportunities by other sponsors come available.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
No 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.
No The utility has adopted the necessary ordinances (or rules and regulations) necessary to give it the authority to operate.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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 current utility operator is trained and holds a Provisional Level 1 certification. The Council strives to hold their monthly meeting when a quorum is available; however enforcing actions of disconnections has historically been difficult. The City of Akhiok does not currently have a water/sewer ordinance, collection policy or personnel policy. It is recommended it work with RUBA staff to draft the necessary ordinances and policy.

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.
No 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
In speaking with the Remote Maintenance Worker, Steve Evavold of Village Safe Water, there is a preventative maintenance plan for the existing system. The current utility operator is trained and holds a Provisional Level 1 certification. Historically the utility operator reports to the Council when there is a problem or he can foresee one. The utility is not able to operate at the level of service that was proposed due to the inability to meet the surface water regulations and the cross connection of the solo valve on the rapid sand filter. The utility meets all required drinking water regulations. The city is not currently on the SNC list for treatment technique violations, monitoring violations for Stage one or SWTR. The utility operator and Council try to keep needed critical spare parts on hand. There is no written inventory or spare parts list; however, the operator has a mental count of control and spare parts within the plant.