Quarterly Report: 2010, 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. They will have continue this summer with water and sewer projects. They will be replacing a majority of water lines for the east loop. This last quarter a water main froze leaving 5 homes without water/sewer for a couple of weeks. Only two are still without water/sewer which will be fixed this summer. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Kotzebue RUBA staff traveled to Kiana at the request of the city January 25-29, 2010 to provide the new administrator training on how to do monthly financial reports needed by the council members. City staff was shown how to create an Excel monthly financial report format that included formulas. Profit and loss QuickBooks information and the city's budget were then transferred to the monthly report format to create a budget vs. actual financial report. Four months of financial reports to December 31, 2009 were then completed. These reports compared the water/wastewater expenditures and revenues to the budget and showed that revenues need to be increased or other ways found to fund the emergency repairs. Also, Kiana signed an agreement to become an Alaska Rural Utilities Collaborative (ARUC) community this last quarter. This came very timely as another city administrator resigned so the clerk is the acting administrator now and is overwhelmed. RUBA staff is assisting the clerk at her request with ordinance amendments. The city received monetary assistance from the borough to fix the frozen main that left five homes without water/wastewater for a couple of weeks. Although they hired an outside firm to thaw the main, two are still frozen and will be repaired this summer. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Once the city has hired an new administrator, RUBA staff will provide on site training and assistance on budgeting and financial management as well as go throught the RUBA assessment.
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
48 of 54


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.
Yes 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.
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.
Finances Comments
The city had passsed a realistic budget that listed all revenues and expenses for the city. They have been able to get caught up with monthly financial reports to the council and are current inpaying all utility bills. The administrator stated that they have been paying all their bills on time for the utility. They have received all their fuel for the winter supply via barge and are on time making their loan payments for the fuel loan. The utility is receiving revenues sufficient to cover operating expenses and their revenues and expenses are equal to those budgeted showing that a budget amendment is not necessary. The administrator is providing a report to the council at their monthly meeting.

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 City Council has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it by meeting monthly and reviewing the accounts receivable and payable quickbooks reports. They are using quickbooks, using their budget to identify catergories, to correctly calculate payroll, cash receipts and cash disbursements to show how money was spent and received keeping those records on file and providing the council with a monthly financial report after reconiling to the bank. The city uses a purchase order system that requires approval by the administrator prior to purchase who reviews the budget and amount purchased to date including the monthly financial report.

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.
Yes 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 which accurately calculates, track and report payroll liabilities. They are current in filing tax reports, making deposits and now have no past due tax liabilities.

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
Now that the city is seperated from the tribe MOA, they have purchased and paid for their own insurance included workmen's compensation coverage which they have posted in their office building. This city needs to update their personnel policies and have them reviewed by a lawyer. Even though they have a written evaluation process, because of turnover have not done evaluations. They do have a adequate hiring process that they follow with a probabtionary period, job orientation and oversight providing training to staff as needed. They continue to send in staff and council to every RUBA class offered here in Kotzebue. The city still has their updated job descriptions for all positions.

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 has adopted the necessary ordinance to give it authority with an adopted organizational chart so the council is the known owner who meets monthly enforcing their policies abiding by the open meetings act. The council has hired an adequately training Acting City Administrator and their previous bookeeper of 10 or so years. The city has an adequately trained operator trained by the previous operator and the Maniilaq Remote Maintenance Worker.

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
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.
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.
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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The main operater is certified for wastewater collection P and is planning to attend the next training in Kotzebue. The system is on the SNC list. Violations for missing their 2008 and 2009 TTHM/HAAS samples. Although the manager receives monthly reports from the operator, she has not had time to routinely spot check the facilities on a routine basis because of staff turnover. No known safety meetings have been conducted. Now that they are an ARUC community, I am sure they will hold safety meetings and water testing will become current.