Quarterly Report: 2010, January - March (Q3), Kivalina

Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Kivalina 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Wells have proven unsuccessful in Kivalina. Water is drawn from the Wulik River via a 3-mile surface transmission line and is stored in a 700,000-gallon raw water tank. It is then treated and stored in a 500,000-gallon steel tank. Residents haul water from this tank. One-third of the residents have tanks, which provide running water for the kitchen, but homes are not fully plumbed. The school and clinic have individual water and sewer systems. Residents haul their own honeybuckets to bunkers. A new landfill and honeybucket disposal site was completed. A master plan is being completed, which examines sanitation alternatives at the new community site. The business plan is completed. The vacated lot has been purchased so needs to confirm title to Northwest Arctic Borough(NAB), NAB transfer title to City, barge supplies to staging area for early start on construction in 2009 now for the wastewater treatment plant. Started work on wastewater treatment plant this summer but ran across some human remains and artifacts so had to bring out an archeologist which slowed project down but so only got the foundation and bin walls framed. This phase of the project is set to start this summer through 2011. They are now working on repairing the washeteria to fix the freezing drain pipe every winter.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
I have been in contact with the administrator receiving and reviewing monthly financial reports including water plant operator reports. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Kotzebue RUBA hopes to travel to Kivalina this summer during the construction season to follow up on RUBA assessment and provide training to the council as identified.
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
This city adopted a realistic budget showing all revenues and expenses of the utility. They are current in paying all their water/wastewater bills so are receiving enough revenues to cover operating expenses in reviewing the monthly financial report submitted to the council. They have once again purchased via barge all the fuel they will need for the winter. Even though they are receiving revenues to those budgeted and expenses shows that they are equal to those budgeted, she still does not have an repair and replacement fund. The administrator provides a report to the council monthly and prepares budget amendments as needed.

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 bills customers on a monthly basis following their collection policy. They still utilize the Northwest Arctic Borough accounting system and excel for payroll to track customers and report pass due amounts including accounts payables. She uses an excel document which she transfers the timesheet information onto which correctly calculates payroll and keeps those records filed accurately. She uses the Northwest Arctic Borough cash receipt system to record in coming money and cash disbursement journal on how money is spent which she reconciles before she transfer the figures onto her monthly financial report using her budget as the chart of accounts. She uses purchase orders reviewing her budget, monthly financial report and any outstanding purchase orders before approving new purchases for that line item.

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
Using an Excel document as the payroll journal and a tax deposit worksheet, the clerk is able to accurately track and report tax liabilities, pay tax deposits timely and file reports. Kivalina City Council is listed on the Lien Watch report for outstanding IRS debt but has an agreement for a payment plan for this outstanding debt.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
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.
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 City has workmen's compensation posted showing coverage from July 2009 to July 2010 which they paid in full. They have not made any changes to their personnel policies that included an adequate hiring process which had been reviewed by the Northwest Arctic Borough Lawyer when passed . All job descriptions are current which they tie into their job evaluations. There has been no turnover so all the files have in the information as reviewed before but no evaluations have been completed as known.

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 new city council understands they own and operate the utility using the adopted ordinances enforcing the policies meeting monthly following the open meetings act. They have requested council training this quarter as time permits. They have had no turnover in staff so enjoys the long term adequately trained administrator, bookkeeper and operator.

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.
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".
Yes 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
Their main operator is certified for water distribution OIT and Water Treatment OIT. The alternate has those certifications as well including wastewater collection and wastewater treatment. She has sent her main operator to the training here in Kotzebue this April 2010 to further his certification. They do have a preventative maintenance plan and provide the council and administrator an monthly O and M report who routinely spot checks the facilities to make sure maintenance items are being completed. They have not had any safety meetings to date. The washeteria is the facility management issue that is still unresolved. The operator is working on thawing out the drain as this is written but is expected to thaw the line out and insulate the line in hopes to keep it from freezing during cold temperatures.