Quarterly Report: 2012, January - March (Q3), Alakanuk

Community:
Alakanuk 
Staff:
Ken Berlin  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Alakanuk 
Population:
681  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/1/2012 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Alakanuk operates the piped water and sewer system, the central watering point, flush tank and haul system, and washeteria/sauna service. The city council is the policy making body for the utility. There are 135 utility customers hooked up to the system. Water is derived from the slough, treated, stored in a tank, and piped to most of the community. New facilities include a water treatment plant, a heated 300,000-gallon water storage tank, a vacuum sewage plant, a sewage lagoon, arctic piping and household plumbing. The new subdivision has been completed with all homes connected to the piped system.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
In November 2011 the City administration staff had a turn over, both the City administrator and Bookkeeper resigned. A new administrator was recently hired. January 2012, the City of Alakanuk hired a new City administrator, Shirley Augline and staff is working with her trying to get the bank accounts reconciled, put together financial reports, figure out the tax situation and list outstanding bills. Work is going slow but making some progress. Staff offered technical assistance and training onsite. There is a adopted and balanced FY12 budget. The monthly finance reports are up to date to August 2011, but no meeting minutes where the City Council reviewed the reports. City has enough fuel to last until spring. March 2012, City is behind 90 days on AVEC bills. Finance reports with copies of City Council meeting minutes where the Council reviewed and approved the finance reports are needed for Oct. 2011 to Feb. 2012. The IRS deemed the City non-compliant for 941 2011/09 and 2011/12 with unpaid tax liabilities. March 13, RUBA staff received an e-mail and fax from the City Administrator for the City of Alakanuk concerning an intent to levy notice from IRS. Staff recommend City administration contact Mr. Standridge, IRS and work out a repayment plan. The City is going through a cash flow problem at this time. March 28, City Administrator contacted staff concerning the IRS debt incurred during last year 2011. The IRS is getting ready to levy the City on this matter. City does not have enough funds to pay off IRS. Staff recommended this matter be put before the City Council with recommendations from City administrative and finance staff to get a bank loan using the City's State Revenue Sharing funds coming in July or August of FY 2013 as collateral and pay off IRS. This has been done in the past. The State of Alaska Department of Labor deemed the City non-compliant. The City does not have workers compensation according to the State workers compensation website. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to monitor the utility and provide assistance and training when requested.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
20 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
22 of 27
Total Score:
42 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.
No Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
No 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.
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.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
A budget was adopted and passed for FY12 (July 1 thru June 30). The city filed the monthly finance reports up to August 2011, but no meeting minutes where the City Council reviewed the reports. City is behind 90 days on AVEC bill. The administrator reported City has 21,000 gallons of fuel on hand, enough to last until spring. Alakanuk has money budgeted for fuel purchase if additional fuel is necessary. The City Administrator provides verbal reports to the council and these are recorded in the monthly meeting minutes, but no copies of meeting 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 utility ordinance was effective as of March 2008 and includes a collection policy. The collection policy identifies a grace period of 45 days for past due utility bills. RUBA staff has recommended adjusting the grace period to 30 days. The city adminsitrator contacted RUBA staff with questions regarding how QuickBooks processes payroll tax liabilities. He reported that due to QuickBooks taking two days to deposit payroll into employee accounts, timesheets are submitted two or three days before the end of the pay period, and employees enter hours for time not yet worked. RUBA staff provided assistance regarding how to enter hours and issue checks, and also provided contact information for the RUBA sponsored QuickBooks Help Line contractor.

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.
No 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
On March 2012 Internal Revenue Service deemed the City noncompliant. The 941 2011 3rd and 4th quarter tax liabilities. The Alaska State Department of Labor, the city is deemed non-compliant. City is not listed in the Jan-Feb 2012 IRS Lien Watch.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
Alakanuk does not have workers compensation insurance according to the State web site on 4/2/2012. Job openings are posted in at least three public places. There is a probationary period of three months for new hires. The City Administrator provides on the job training for new employees and other training is given when funds are available. City administrative and finance staff participated in a RUBA sponsored training recently in mid March 2012 (Personnel).

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.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No 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
November 2011 both the City administrator and Bookkeeper resigned. A new administrator was recently hired. The city of Alakanuk provides water/wastewater services and operates a washeteria. The washeteria includes showers and saunas. The city held elections and certified the election results.The city council is active in reviewing and monitoring utility policies. The new administrator and bookkeeper needs to get training in QuickBooks Pro and Utility Management.

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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The Alakanuk Water System got cleared from the significant non-complier list this 4th quarter. There is no known hardwear problem. Alakanuk water treatment system is a Class 2 and the wastewater treatment system is Class 1. They have one operator, Kevin Joseph, who is certified as a water operator 1 and wastewater operator 1. He continues to attend training when possible.