Quarterly Report: 2014, April - June (Q4), Aniak

Community:
Aniak 
Staff:
Fred Broerman  
DCRA Regional Office:
Bethel regional office 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Aniak 
Population:
546 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
7/7/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Nearly all of Aniak's residences and commercial establishments have their own wells which are maintained by owners, so the city has no water plant. However, the City of Aniak does own and operate the community's piped wastewater system, which has six lift stations and provides service for about 195 residential and 12 commercial customers. The wastewater system on the city's north side was built in the mid 1980s. Most of the infrastructure on the south side of the city's airport was built between 2003 through 2010. The city has problems with customers not paying for the piped wastewater service. Collecting on outstanding accounts is hampered because the wastewater system does not have individual customer shut-offs, so service for delinquent customers cannot be shut off.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Bethel RUBA staff visited Aniak's city office May 6-9, to assist the office manager with creating a RUBA compliant budget vs. actual monthly financial report spreadsheet, which is more user friendly and better suited for tracking the various expenses now associated with the public works department. The project entailed making separate classes for the wastewater utility, streets and roads, equipment rental and landfill instead of lumping most of their expenses to the public works department. Changes were made in the FY14 spreadsheet, which will be used as a template for the city's FY15 budget/monthly financial report. While there, Bethel staff attended a city council meeting held on May 7, and was asked to give a brief summary of the RUBA program and explained why working on the city’s financial reporting system is an important first step toward compliance with RUBA indicators. During and after the council meeting Bethel RUBA staff was also asked for advice on a land covenant, a potential MOA with the local tribe regarding city roads. Currently, there are no water or wastewater construction projects scheduled for the City of Aniak in the near future. Within the last year, RUBA staff has sent four email inquiries to the city office requesting documents needed for evaluating RUBA compliance. As of the date of this writing, most of the documents requested in the emails have not been provided. The city has not responded to requests for information needed to evaluate RUBA indicators for over three years. However, the city's office manager and mayor regularly contact the Bethel regional office asking advice.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to encourage the city to take steps toward RUBA compliance.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
5 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
1 of 25
Total Score:
6 of 52

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.
No The utility has on hand a year's adequate fuel supply or it has a financial plan to purchase an adequate supply.
No 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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The City of Aniak's FY14 Budget Appropriations Ordinance (# 14-01) adopted on June 19, 2013 is on file at the Bethel regional office and it appears to be balanced and realistic. The city has not responded to RUBA staff requests for documents necessary to determine essential and sustainable indicator compliance. On October 3, 2012 the city received a DCRA Bridge Loan to pay for its heating fuel for the winter of 2012/2013. The loan has a significant outstanding balance and a legal maturity date of July 1, 2013. A phone conversation with Aniak Light and Power on July 2, 2014, indicated the city was current on its electric accounts.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
No An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts.
No An accounts payable system is in place.
No The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
No 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
The city has not responded to RUBA staff requests for documents necessary to determine essential and sustainable indicator compliance for this section. The city has had problems with customers not paying for the piped wastewater service. Collecting on outstanding accounts is hampered because the wastewater system does not have individual customer shut-offs, so service for delinquent customers cannot be shut off. Village Safe Water has provided balloon-like rubber bladders that can be put into service line clean-outs. When the bladders are inflated with air, they prevent the flow of wastewater in service lines. However, in many situations on the north side (older section) of town there may be only one clean-out on a line that provides service to multiple customers. In such instances, a whole drilled through the side of service line (just before it enters the building) and filled with spray foam would block wastewater flow and 'shut off' a non-paying customer. However, provisions need to be adopted into city code that specifies that customers pay for expensive reconnection costs.

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.
No The utility is current on making tax deposits.
No 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 city uses QuickBooks to track payroll taxes. Email correspondence with the Alaska Department of Labor dated July 2, 2014, indicated the city is current with its employment security contribution tax payments and deposits through March 31, 2013. A June 23, 2014 fax correspondence from the Fairbanks IRS office indicates that the city has defaulted on its installment agreement and is not current on paying its federal taxes. The city is not listed on the March-April 2014, LIEN WATCH: A Review of Small Community Liens.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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
A phone conversation with Alaska Public Entity Insurance on July 2, 2013 indicated that the city had renewed its workers' compensation insurance coverage for FY14. The city has not responded to RUBA staff requests for documents necessary to determine essential and sustainable indicator compliance.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
No 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.
No The policy making body meets as required.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The city has not responded to RUBA staff requests for documents necessary to determine essential and sustainable indicator compliance.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
No The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing sanitation facilities.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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.
No The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
N/A The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
N/A 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 city has not responded to RUBA staff requests for documents necessary to determine essential and sustainable indicator compliance for this section. The city does not have a water treatment plant, the city's residences and commercial buildings draw water from private wells. Therefore, Consumer Confidence Report and SNC list sustainable indicators are marked 'N/A'.