|The city council, which is the decision-making body for Kake’s sanitation utilities, follows the State’s fiscal year. The city adopted its FY14 annual budget timely in May 2013. Budget estimates were based on the FY13 budgeted and actual values, and the FY14 budget proposal included details such as dollar and percent change between years. The budget was balanced and realistic, though the finance committee has requested the budget be broken down into more specific categories; these revisions will be introduced at the next council meeting as a proposed amendment to the FY14 budget. The existing budget ordinance separates water and wastewater finances into a utility enterprise fund, which also appropriates funds for garbage services. The FY14 budget anticipates collecting 181 percent more water/wastewater customer fees in FY14 than in FY13. This increase would come from the garnishment of several delinquent customers’ Permanent Fund Dividends (PFDs). The utility has collected over $40,000 through PFD garnishments; however, full comparisons of revenues and expenditures to budget are not possible at this time due to accounting staff turn-over.
Normal procedure is for the city’s bookkeeper to provide a profit and loss report comparing budgeted and actual amounts to the council finance committee, which meets before all full council meetings to review finances. The bookkeeper then provides a full report at the regular council meeting. The bookkeeper and city administrator, who serves as the utility manager, both attend the finance committee meeting and provide verbal reports, as well as written reports when requested. However, this practice has not taken place since July, as the bookkeeping data entry has fallen behind due to the loss of the city's bookkeeper. An interim bookkeeper is in the process of bringing the books up-to-date.
Kake's electricity is provided by the Inside Passage Electric Cooperative (IPEC). IPEC bills the city monthly with a break-down of services provided to different buildings and areas, such as wastewater lift stations, the water treatment plant, and city buildings. The bookkeeper logs each itemized bill into the QuickBooks accounts payable system, then creates the check payment for the full amount, which is then signed by the city administrator and submitted for payment. Evidence of billing and payment have been provided to RUBA staff. The city budgets for and purchases its fuel from Kake Tribal Corporation as needed. Kake Tribal Corporation receives fuel by barge once per month, which is sufficient to provide all necessary fuel to the community.
A water utility rate study conducted by RUBA staff in February 2014 concluded that the water utility costs the city $85.85 per customer per month. The city distributes this cost at a higher rate to commercial customers than to residential or elder customers. One year ago, the council adopted a plan to increase utility charges gradually over the next four years, at a rate of 25 percent per year for residential customers and 35 percent per year for commercial customers. Therefore on July 1, 2013, the residential rate for sanitation services increased from $36 per month to $45 per month and the commercial rate increased from $40 per month to $54 per month. By the fourth year of this plan, the residential rate will be $87.89 per month and the commercial rate will be $132.86 per month. Assuming a near-100 percent collection rate, this financial plan will allow for all costs associated with the water utility to be met. Until such time, however, the city utilizes funds from the Community Revenue Sharing and Payment in Lieu of Taxes programs as subsidies.|