Quarterly Report: 2013, October - December (Q2), Aniak

Community:
Aniak 
Staff:
Fred Broerman  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Aniak 
Population:
539  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
2/8/2013 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Nearly all of Aniak's residences and commercial establishments have their own wells which are maintained by owners, so 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 further hampered because the wastewater system does not having individual customer shut-offs, so service for delinquent customers can be easily discontinued. 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.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On January 24, 2013, the City of Aniak's mayor contacted Bethel LGS assigned staff regarding excessive costs the city was incurring due to inadequate service from the community's private electric facility. The mayor indicated that citizens experience regular brown-outs and many report of damaged or ruin of home appliances due frequent power supply problems. The city's electric plant is on the north side of the airport, in the older section of town. However, most of the complaints about electric supply deficiencies come from residences and businesses on the south side of the airport where the city has expanded in recent years. The electric shortages are most profound in winter when demands for electric increase due to increased lighting needs and running heating units during the dark and cold months. During this time brown outs and home appliance damage reports also increase due to inadequate electric infrastructure to the city's south side, which is compounded by increased demands from new construction. Three to four times a week, during the harsh winter of 2011/2012, city public works employees had to move a generator back and forth between two of the city's wastewater lift stations, on the south side of town, because the electric utility was not providing enough power to keep lift stations pumps running. During the winter of 2012/2013, Aniak's school and a third lift station (the city's largest) have also had to rely on electric power from generators, instead of electricity from the power company. The city has had to incur the labor costs of moving the generator between pump stations, fueling the generator and the cost of having the electric panels rewired so the intermittent power supply wouldn't burn out expensive wastewater lift pump motors. The city also incurs significant payroll costs just monitoring all six lift stations due to the intermittent power lapses. Bethel DCRA staff put the mayor in touch with Regulatory Commission of Alaska staff so he could file an informal complaint. Bethel RUBA staff contacted the city by email December 12 and 29, 2011, March 16 and 22, June 6, September 14 and December 12, 2012 requesting documents needed for verification of RUBA essential indicators. At the time of this writing the city has not provided the Bethel RUBA office with items that were requested. Therefore compliance for RUBA indicators cannot be evaluated and most of have been marked 'No' until the city desires to participate in the RUBA program. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue efforts to assist the community in meeting RUBA compliance.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
1 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
0 of 27
Total Score:
1 of 53

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No 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.
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 has not responded to RUBA staff requests for documents necessary to determine essential and sustainable indicator compliance. On October 2, 2012 the city received a DCRA Bridge Loan to pay for its heating fuel for the winter of 2012/2013. The city has not responded to RUBA staff requests for documents necessary to determine essential and sustainable indicator compliance.

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.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
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
The city uses QuickBooks to track payroll taxes. Email correspondence with the Alaska Department of Labor dated September 24, 2012, indicated the community is current with its employment security compensation tax payments and deposits through June 30, 2012. The city did not fill out and submit an Authorization to Request Federal Tax Information form to the Bethel RUBA office that was emailed to them on September 14, 2012. Therefore it could not be determined if the city is current on its federal tax filings and payments for 2008 through 2012, therefore due to the unknown status of the tribe's federal taxes, two of the 'Tax Problems' essential indicators were marked 'No'. The community was not on the September - October 2012, Lien Watch Report.

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
The city has not responded to RUBA staff requests for documents necessary to determine essential and sustainable indicator compliance. Proof of the workers compensation insurance coverage was verified for the city on the State of Alaska's Worker's Compensation website on October 2, 2012.

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.
No 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.
No The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
No 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.