Quarterly Report: 2012, 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. The business plan is completed. They had started work on wastewater treatment plant this last summer but ran across some human remains and artifacts so had to bring out an archeologist which slowed project down so only got the foundation and bin walls framed before they ran out of funding. Construction is approximately 50% complete. ANTHC and the city applied for an $850,000 CDBG grant but it fell below the funding line. ANTHC and the tribe submitted an ICDBG grant for supplemental funding. A direct grant to USDA has also been prepared and submitted. The Water Treatment Plant Upgrade project is complete. In addition, funding from the State of Alaska FY 2012 Captial Budget for a $150,000 sanitation improvements master plan was approved and the study will begin in 2012. The City of Kivalina has recently signed a cooperative project agreement for a project to fund the construction of the interior components of the wastewater treatment plant. The ANTHC sent a project superintendent to the site in March 2012 to begin this work. We are still pursuing funding for the construction of the exterior portions of the plant. The ICDBG program did not select this project for funding. There is still the possibility that USDA might fund this work. the work for the master plan has not yet begun. The NWAB has submitted a contract to the ANTHC. ANTHC legal consousel is reviewing this. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff has tried to communicate with the Mayor via mail and email but have not received a response to date. The administrator has provided RUBA staff via email financial monthly reports with copies of minutes approving reports up to the months of January 2012. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Staff will continue to request for the information needed in order for them to come into compliance with the RUBA assessment. Staff also told their Mayor and staff that I am available to travel to provide training and assistance as needed. They were sent a letter to come to the RUBA financial management class being held here in Kotzebue April 30-May 4th, 2012.
Essential Indicators:
20 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
12 of 27
Total Score:
32 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.
No Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
No The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
No The utility has on hand a year's adequate fuel supply or it has a financial plan to purchase an adequate supply.
No 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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city did pass a balanced realistic budget that lists all revenues and expenses for the utility. Kotzebue RUBA has received several monthly financial report up to January 2012. I am still waiting for the month of February to mark that they are current and have sufficient revenues to cover their expenses as well as sustainable indicators.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No 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.
No 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
RUBA has not received the month of February financials to support that they have an adopted collection policy and actively follows it meeting monthly and billing customers on a monthly basis. They utilize quickbooks now for all their acounting needs tracking accounts receivables, payables, payroll and payroll files, records incoming money and how it was spent. They have adopted a budget which they use as a chart of accounts but am unsure if they are completing bank reconciliations. The city has a purchasing system to check against their budget using their monthly financial reports.

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 still uses quickbooks which accurately tracks, report tax liabilities and are current with deposits and reports. Per tax liability forms submitted they are current with their filling and tax deposits. In reviewing the Tax Lien publication, They still owe $136,735 from past liability they are paying under a payment plan with the IRS.

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
According to AML/JIA are in compliance and have been issued new insurance coverage for the year until June 2012. There has been no 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.
No 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.
No The policy making body meets as required.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The city council is the known entity who operates the utility as adopted by ordinance. Although I have received the minutes and financials up to January, I still need the month of February 2012. Without receiving the minutes showing that the governing body has met and reviewed the financials for February, it is unknown whether or not they are enforcing policy. They have a staff of two, who has worked for the city for over five years, in the office both sharing bookkeeping duties. Their operator is certified. They have adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure. Without the minutes it is unknown if they met as required and is compling with the open meetings act.

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.
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.
No 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 still certified for water distribution OIT and Water Treatment OIT. The alternate has those certifications as well including wastewater collection and wastewater treatment who follows their preventative maintenance plan for their facilities. It is unknown if the administrator receives a monthly O and M report or routinely spot checks the facilities nor whether or not they hold safety meetings. Without the financial reports I cannot determine if they are maintaining an inventory or critical spare parts list. They are operating at the level of service they proposed as discussed with the Environmental Health Manager visit the last week of December 2011. The city has completed their CCR and is not on the SNC list.