RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Ouzinkie


Community:

Ouzinkie

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Jedediah Smith

Agreement:

No

DCA Region:

Anchorage

Agreement Date:

5/22/2012

Region:

Kodiak Island

Exp Date:

5/22/2014

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Kodiak Island Borough

Assessment Date:

3/16/2012

Population:

155

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

9/25/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

Water is supplied by a dam on Mahoona Lake and Katmai Creek and is treated and piped throughout the city. The system serves 80 homes and commercial facilities. A piped wastewater system, central wastewater treatment system, and sludge disposal site are used for waste. Over 90 percent of all homes are completely plumbed. The city needs a 400,000-gallon water tank for adequate treatment and storage. Refuse is collected by the city. A new landfill site was recently completed. The community participates in a hazardous waste collection program, and is in the process of creating a facility to recycle scrap metal. Electricity is provided by City of Ouzinkie.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

On June 17, Anchorage RUBA staff was contacted by the city clerk inquiring about the budget. The budget indicates that an enterprise service is running at a deficit of about $5,700. LGS staff stated that a majority of the enterprise services in rural Alaska run at a deficit. The city should hold a meeting to decide if they going to raise the rates or subsidize the service. If the city decides to subsidize the service they should track how to cover operating expenses and revenue transfers. This must be reflected within the budget. On August 30, RUBA staff received a signed request for tax information authorization.

 

Capacity Indicator: Finances

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The city adopted its FY14 budget by ordinance on June 25, 2013. The water utility anticipated revenues of $35,622 and expenditures of $80,622. Funds will be transferred from the Focus Energy (city electric utility) budget and from the administration and finance budget to subsidize utility costs. The budget is regularly reviewed and budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary. The overall budget is realistic and balanced. It includes the payroll and all other normal operating expenditures for a utility enterprise. The city has a utility bookkeeper and assistant who use QuickBooks and Excel to generate monthly financial statements. The city owns the electric utility and uses QuickBooks to document interoffice transfer of funds for electric usage. The city has a financial plan to purchase fuel throughout the year. There is a line item for equipment repair and maintenance in the budget, but there is not a separate account for repair and replacement funds. The city recently had a workshop regarding utility rates. The workshop indicated that a rate study was needed to generate rates to cover all operating expenses.

 

Capacity Indicator: Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The Ouzinkie Code of Ordinances addresses the water and wastewater utility collection policy. Invoices that include power usage, Power Cost Equalization (PCE) subsidy, water, wastewater, and garbage charges are sent to city customers by the fifth of every month. The accounts receivable report generated from QuickBooks shows the highest amount due to the city for residential utilities for over 90 days is $661. There are no vendors listed in the accounts payable that are 90 days past due. The city uses QuickBooks to process all payroll expenses for the water utility. The city uses a sales book to generate receipts for cash payments and QuickBooks for credit card payment receipts. QuickBooks is used to record all cash disbursements. The chart of accounts has all bank accounts, accounts receivable, assets, accounts payable, liabilities equities, income, and expense accounts. QuickBooks is also used to process bank reconciliations. All purchase requests are submitted in writing, recorded in the purchase order log book, and reviewed by the mayor for approval.

 

Capacity Indicator: Tax Problems

Essential Indicators:

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.

Comment:

The IRS report dated September 10, 2013 shows the city is compliant with required federal tax deposits, filing, and has no record of a lien. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Employment Security Divisions report is pending. Ouzinkie is not on the April-March 2013 Lien Watch.

 

Capacity Indicator: Personnel System

Essential Indicators:

Yes

The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.

Sustainable Indicators:

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.

Comment:

The city is insured for workers compensation through an Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association (AMLJIA) policy that is effective through July 1, 2014. Employee policies include job descriptions, employment reference checks and an introductory period of 90 days. Performance evaluations are scheduled approximately every 12 months, coinciding with the anniversary of the employee's original hire date. The hiring process is stated in the employment section of the personnel policies and utilizes all information in the job application to determine the potential employee. The city has personnel folders on all employees that contain the employee's job application, performance evaluations, letter of acceptance, I-9 and W-2 information. Trainings are offered to employees, within budgetary considerations.

 

Capacity Indicator: Organizational Management

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The city owns the utility and the governing body meets on the second Thursday of each month. The city council is active in making policies and enforcing those policies. The utility manager is the mayor, who is trained in utility management and has a working knowledge of the city utilities. The primary operator is certified in Water Distribution 1 and Water Treatment 1, both due to expire on December 31, 2014. The secondary operator has a Water Distribution Provisional, due to expire on December 31, 2013. Title 13 in the Ouzinkie Code of Ordinances has all the rules and regulations required to operate the utility. An organizational chart is in the water utility business plan from Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) that the city has adopted. The city meets as required by local code and complies with the Open Meeting Act by placing notices prior to the meeting in three public places.

 

Capacity Indicator: Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

The primary operator is certified in Water Distribution 1 and Water Treatment 1, both due to expire on December 31, 2014. The secondary operator has a Water Distribution Provisional due to expire on December 31, 2013. The city has the Community Sanitation Facilities, Operations and Maintenance Manual from Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) that includes the preventative maintenance plan for the water utility. The operators routinely spot check the water treatment plant and monitor the water storage tank. Last winter the water storage tank suffered an overflow. The overflow produced ice that blocked the utility ladder to the access door on the top of the water tank. This overflow occurred during a time that all operators were off site and weather prevented their return to the community. Operators do not hold safety meetings and there is no safety log to record safety meetings. There have been no major outages of the utility due to managerial issues. The utility is operating as proposed and is a Water Treatment Class 1 water system. The operators provide the mayor with updates and the mayor then informs the council when policy making decisions are needed. The water utility is not listed on the April 2013 Significant Non-Compiler (SNC) list. The utility does not have an inventory control list or a critical spare parts list.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

Newly assigned RUBA staff has been in contact with the Ouzinkie mayor regarding personnel issues and tax compliance. A site visit will be scheduled to coincide with other Kodiak region travel in October or November.