RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Aleknagik


Community:

Aleknagik

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Barbara Higgins

Agreement:

Yes

DCA Region:

Dillingham

Agreement Date:

12/27/2011

Region:

Dillingham

Exp Date:

12/27/2013

Govt Type(s):

2nd Class City

Borough:

Unorganized

Assessment Date:

12/21/2011

Population:

227

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

10/8/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

The majority of residents (roughly 49 homes) have household plumbing and most use individual wells. Approximately 12 households do not have water or wastewater service. Some residents haul water from the community center and a few are served by a spring well catchment system. Wastewater tanks, leach fields, and a public wastewater lagoon are used for wastewater disposal. The North Shore uses 11 shared effluent pumps (REP units) which discharge into a piped wastewater system. Nushagak Electric Cooperative in Dillingham provides electricity to Aleknagik.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

RUBA staff made an on-site visit with the RUBA QuickBooks contractor on July 29-31, to provide assistance with deficient RUBA indicators. During this visit, RUBA staff assisted with reconciling the cash drawer and tracking cash in QuickBooks and establishing procedures for dealing with the petty cash, reconciliation of past due accounts, and payroll issues into QuickBooks, which included the wastewater utility. In September, RUBA staff was requested to provide assistance with a QuickBooks issues. The administrator was trying to prepare the monthly financial for the council and one of the classes on the item list did not appear to be working. RUBA staff requested the QuickBooks file then worked with city staff, via the telephone, to resolve the issue. Throughout the process it was discovered the administrator was customizing the report in such a way that caused the information to be filtered out when in fact the information was there. RUBA staff also reviewed the balance sheet with the administrator. Other activity throughout the quarter included RUBA staff provided assistance with the organizational chart.

 

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.

N/A

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:

Yes

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 uses QuickBooks Pro 2013 for its financial accounting. The city adopted the FY14 budget in June 2013. A copy of the approved budget was submitted to the Division of Community and Regional Affairs. The budget includes a line item of $1870 as income from residential customers for wastewater pumping. The administrator and bookkeeper provide the city council with monthly financial reports; the reports compare actual YTD revenues and expenses with the budget. The utility does not have electric bills associated with wastewater pumping. The utility uses fuel in the wastewater pumper truck that does not exceed 100 gallons annually. Operating expenses and year-to-date revenues as of August 2013 are reported to be at a level equal to those budgeted. The utility budget has a line item for Repair and Replacement expenses; there is a seperate account for Repair and Replacement, and funds are being set aside and accumulating as necessary. The administrator provides a written managerial report on the utility at the regular monthly meeting. Copies of the report are included in the agenda packets and in the meeting minutes. RUBA staff was provided copies of the reports and the meeting minutes for the months June, July and August 2013.

 

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 utility billing and collection procedures are included in the utility ordinance adopted in June 2008. According to the May 2013 accounts receivable report, there are past due accounts over 90 days and one is in litigation. The utility has procedures in place to collect on delinquent accounts. Payment agreements are adopted for delinquent accounts and were made available to RUBA staff. A random review of accounts receivable files indicates that the utility bills are issued within the first six business days of each month as required by the utility's billing procedures. Staff uses QuickBooks Pro 2013 for bookkeeping. Customer invoices and payments for each customer are entered into the accounts receivable program. Staff uses QuickBooks for tracking accounts payable. Invoices are entered when received and payments are entered when made. The utility finance officer uses QuickBooks for financial record keeping, including all payroll records. The bookkeeper is proficient in the use of QuickBooks; all payroll records are up-to-date. The city clerk writes a receipt for any income received. A copy of every receipt is kept in sequentially numbered permanent receipt books. Once a week, new data from the receipt book is entered into the utility's computerized accounting system. All payments are made by check or credit card. Every check includes an amount, an expense account, and a description of the payment. The data for every check written is recorded in a check register. All credit card statements are reconciled and expenses classed in the QuickBooks file. A copy of paid invoices is kept in the vendor files. The utility's chart of accounts identifies all asset accounts (undeposited funds, bank accounts, and accounts receivable), all liability accounts (current, long-term, and payroll liabilities), and fund balances. Income and expense accounts are identified in a manner that matches the income and expense line items in the budget. Bank reconciliations have been completed through August 2013. The utility adopted a purchasing policy in 2002. The policy requires approval from the mayor for purchases.

 

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.

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.

Comment:

The city uses QuickBooks accounting software to accurately calculate, track and report payroll tax liabilities. On September 19, 2013, RUBA staff received confirmation from the IRS that the city is current with all tax reports and deposits through August 2013. The Department of Labor reported a balance owing for the second quarter. The utility was notified and has taken steps to clear up. An updated employer rate was not put into the system. The utility is not found on the most recent Lien Watch (July 2013).

 

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 Notice of Insurance was posted in plain view in the city office. According to the Notice of Insurance, workers compensation insurance is provided by the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. A September 19, 2013 check of the Division of Worker's Compensation website confirmed that the policy is in effect. A copy of the City of Aleknagik personnel policies, adopted January 2012, is on file with RUBA staff. Job descriptions are up to date and outline each employee's required duties. RUBA staff has copies of the job descriptions on file. The evaluation process is described in the utility's personnel policies. RUBA staff has a copy of the utility's personnel evaluation form on file. The council performs employee evaluations on an annual basis. The hiring process is described in the personnel policies. During the most recent visit, RUBA staff confirmed that personnel files contained the required forms. The probationary period for new hires is 90 days as described in the personnel policy. The general budget includes an appropriation for staff training

 

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 utility ordinance identifies the city as owner and operator of the utility. Council meeting minutes confirmed that the council reviews utility policies and rates on an annual basis and makes changes as needed. Meeting minutes also confirm that the city council takes an active role in enforcing utility policy. The city administrator fills the role of utility manager. The administrator develops and supervises the utility budget, oversees the utility clerk, and provides monthly reports to the governing body. The city clerk has three years experience on the job and has attended a QuickBooks training class sponsored by RUBA. She maintains all of the utility accounting systems in a professional and timely manner. The city adopted a utility ordinance in June 2008. RUBA staff has a copy of the signed ordinance on file. The city has an organizational chart and it is found in the business plan for the city. Regular council meetings are held once a month; special meetings are held as needed. It has been verified that all meetings were held as scheduled. The meeting files and minutes through August 2013 have been received to confirm that agendas are posted and that all meetings are open to the public as required by the Open Meetings Act.

 

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:

N/A

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.

N/A

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.

N/A

The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.

N/A

The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".

Yes

The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.

N/A

The utility maintains an inventory control list.

N/A

The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.

Comment:

City staff have a basic preventative maintenance plan on file. City staff participating in the operation and maintenance of the wastewater pumping service and wastewater lagoon are trained to operate required equipment. The city is not on the Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list. Most residential customers on the north shore of the community utilize private wastewater tanks with privately-maintained pump systems connected to the wastewater main. The public school maintains a private well and wastewater tank system. The city does not provide public water connections and is not presently required to complete an annual Consumer Confidence Report. According to the ADEC website, the City of Aleknagik does not have a system that requires a certified operator. The utility operates a wastewater lagoon and wastewater pumping service

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

RUBA staff will continue to offer assistance. The city council has signed a RUBA agreement that outlines services the RUBA program will provide and the responsibilities of the city. A visit is scheduled early this next quarter.