|The City of Kake owns and operates the community's water and wastewater systems with the necessary authority to operate these systems provided in Title 54 of the Kake Code of Ordinances. However, this title was originally adopted in the 1980s and amendments to it since then have not been properly codified to reflect the city's current rate structure. Title 54 also outlines a utility bill collections policy, yet the city enforced a different policy in 2010 and has not enforced any collections policy since January 1st. RUBA staff is working with the city council to codify its ordinances and amend the code's outdated rate structure. A review of six months of council meeting minutes shows that the governing body is also actively working to establish and implement an effective collections policy that disconnects water service to delinquent customers. In September of 2010, the city acquired the necessary equipment and supplies to conduct disconnections, though none have been imposed this calendar year.
The six-member council holds regular meetings as required by Alaska Statutes Title 29 on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Three council members also serve on the Airport, Water, and Roads Committee, which holds regular meetings to formulate utility-related recommendations to the larger body. The city complies with Alaska's Open Meetings Act by posting notice of each meeting at least five days in advance at the post office, the grocery store, the gas station, and the community building. Each notice indicates the type of meeting to be held, as well as its location, date, and time.
While there is no formal utility management system outlined in the city code, an organizational chart has been adopted by the city and indicates that the city manager, John Janick, is the manager of Kake's utilities. Mr. Janick has only been with the city since May 2011, but brings significant municipal expertise from his previous position as the city manager for the City of Whittier. He holds a master's degree in public administration.
Selma Jackson, the utility's bookkeeper, is also highly trained. She has years of experience working for the City of Kake and has undertaken critical RUBA training courses, including Introduction to QuickBooks, Elected Officials Management for Rural Utilities, Clerk Management for Rural Utilities, Utility Operations, Personnel Management for Rural Utilities, and Financial Management for Rural Utilities. She has also taken a University of Alaska course in bookkeeping for small businesses and non-profits.
The State of Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Division of Water has rated Kake's water treatment system at the Class 2 level based on the plant's various components. The city's water distribution and wastewater collection systems are rated as Class 1 according to the number of connections these systems serve. The primary operator of these systems, Clifton 'Kip' Howard, holds the following endorsements and Continued Education Units (CEUs):
Water Treatment, Level 1 - Expires 12/31/2013, CEUs met
Water Distribution, Level 1 - Expires 12/31/2012, CEUs met
Wastewater Collection - Not certified
While Mr. Howard is not fully certified with DEC to operate the water treatment or wastewater collection systems, he has demonstrated the ability to run Kake's utilities effectively and reliably while actively pursuing new training opportunities. A backup operator is available to assist Mr. Howard, though he is not certified to operate Kake's utilities.|