Quarterly Report: 2009, January - March (Q3), Kiana

Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Kiana 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Kiana operates the piped water and sewer system and maintains a central watering point where residents come to haul water to their residences. The City also maintains honeybucket pits and a sewage lagoon. The City Council is the policy making body for the utility. A 200,000-gallon steel tank is intermittently filled from two wells near the Kobuk River. Water is chlorinated prior to distribution through buried water mains. Piped water and sewer are provided to 75 homes, the clinic, school, and community hall. Kiana maintains a 6-inch buried gravity sewer system, which drains to a lift station and is pumped through a buried force main to the sewage treatment lagoon northeast of the village. A few households haul water and use honeybuckets or septic tanks. The landfill is located west of the sewage disposal lagoon. The site needs to be relocated. A water and sewer master plan is being completed for needed infrastructure improvements. They are currently having problems with the new lift station installed. ANTHC worked on the new lift station but still needs to make sure when a power outage occurs that the pump in this new lift station will automatically turn back on. The city reports that they have received a new pump and the lift station issues are fixed. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff has been in contact with the city via email, phone and fax this last quarter as well as the engineer. RUBA staff requested information from the city on the outstanding debt owed to Alaska Dept. of Labor but has received confirmation that this had been cleared. In talking with the engineer, they fixed the lift station issues but now the foce main froze up because glycol line does not work so in order for it to thaw out by August or fix the glycol leak but they do not have the funds to do so. RUBA staff also provided assistance to the new clerk on her first city election. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Although I have been in contact with the city and we decided on a date in April for me to travel, they have asked me to postpone due to deaths in the community.
Essential Indicators:
25 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
15 of 27
Total Score:
40 of 53


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.
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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Although the city has adopted a balanced realistic budget, the council has not received any monthly financial report since September last year. The Executive Director reports that she is almost done with the 4th quarter financial report and reports that they are current on all bills, has enough fuel to last till the fall and is receiving revenues sufficient to cover operating expenses except for the force main now frozen. There are plans for the engineer to come in and assist the operator to fix that line. Since I have not received any financial reports to show me how they are doing with revenues versus expenditures, I have marked no including whether or not an amendment is do.

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 council has a collection policy and actively follows it by making sure the staff send out utility bills on a regular basis, tracks accounts receivables. They use quickbooks which they use for all their accounting needs calculating payroll , revenues and expenses using chart of accounts and reconciling on a monthly basis. The bookkeeper and adminsitrator requests payments for purchase by reviewing their profits and loss statement to see how much they have received and spend to date and look at their budget as best they can without an actual financial report in comparison to their budget.

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.
Yes 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 bookkeeper is keeping current with all tax reports and payments. The administrator and bookkeeper did provide me a copy of the payment to Alaska Department of Labor for pass ESC debt. They also have contacted them to remove their name off the 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.
Yes 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.
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
The utility had a workmen's compensation coverage and posted from Alaska National Insurance Company for the period of 2/25/2008 to 2/24/2009 so have been working on providing them with new information for a renewal. RUBA staff still need to work with the staff and council this next quarter to update their personnel policies to be reviewed by their lawyer. Other than that, the staff descriptions and files are up to date with all forms including evaluations included. The administrator as well as bookkeeper plan to attend the quickbooks class here in Kotzebue in May.

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.
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
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
The city council knows that they own the utility who actively enforces policies by meeting monthly as required following the open meetings act who adopted necessary ordinances to give them the authority. They have had no turnover this last quarter so continues to enjoy the experience staff they have had.

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.
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.
Yes The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
Yes 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 main operater is certified for wasttewater treatment 1 and is planning to attend the next training in Kotzebue. The system is on the SNC list. In order to RTC, this system needed to have collected 1 more sample the 1st quarter of 2009 for the composite sample. This operator continues to provide reports daily to the staff but since he does not have an alternate right now has had no safety meetings. The utility has had major problems due to management issues but are working to fix the glycol leak to thaw out the force main this month. Because of this problem he has had a hard time trying to maintain an inventory and critical spare parts list and in stock.