Quarterly Report: 2011, January - March (Q3), Kwethluk

Sandra Modigh  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Kwethluk 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Kwethluk owns and operates the water treatment plant, washeteria, garbage collection, and honey-bucket haul system for the community. The city council, advised by the sanitation committee, is the policy making body for the utility. The city provides raw sewage and solid waste hauling services for 108 of its residential homes for $30 per month per household. Hoppers are located throughout the community for the honey-bucket haul system; these hoppers are hauled to the sewage lagoon on a regular basis. The school and teacher housing operate on its own well water system that's maintained by the Lower Kuskokwim School District. The city offices, washeteria, and ATCO trailers are connected to the city's flush system and water treatment plant. The washeteria, constructed in 1985, has been operating since 1986. The community's one watering point is located at the washeteria which charges .20 cents per gallon. Residents haul water from the local river for personal use and gather ice and rain water for drinking. Very few homes have running water or plumbing for showers, but many have sauna/steam bath houses. Kuiggluum Kallugvia provides the communities electric services and the city operates the landfill and sewage lagoon. A community wide water and sewer sanitation project is on-going which includes construction of the new lagoon and piped water and sewer lines. The base lift for the new lagoon has been completed; further construction of the lagoon will begin around the 1st of June with an expected completion date of 2011. Digging for the new water and sewer piping will begin at the end of March; main lines for the east side of town will be constructed first. Grant funding for the community's sanitation projects have been awarded and are funded by USDA Rural Development, Village Safe Water Act, EPA Clean Water Act, and Indian Health Services. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) is the community's contracted engineering service.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Bethel RUBA staff traveled to Kwethluk on March 8, 2011, to attend a city council meeting and present information regarding the RUBA Management Assessment status. RUBA staff learned that the city administrator had submitted her resignation and the city clerk and bookkeeper are new to their positions. While onsite, RUBA staff attended the city council meeting and explained the city's December 2010 quarterly RUBA report which reflects successful compliance of all 27 essential indicators. An updated on-site RUBA assessment was needed to ensure grant funding for the upcoming sanitation project as the last assessment was completed in 2008. After attending the city council meeting, city staff requested and received data required for compliance of the upcoming quarterly RUBA report. The city council, IRA tribal council, and Kwethluk Incorporated conduct joint meetings and work cooperatively on community projects. The three entities agreed by resolution, that each would contribute funds on a monthly basis to a 'capital replacement account' that will be established in the FY12 city budget. The 'capital replacement account' funds will be used specifically for repair and improvements of the piped water and sewer system. In December 2010, the city entered a two-year contract with Analytica Group Inc. to monitor the public water systems. The city has recently been awarded two grants, one from the Energy Efficient and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program to replace doors and windows of the washeteria. The second grant was awarded by the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) Diabetes Prevention and Control Program for design and construction of a community playground. Any remaining funds from the EECBG will be used at the city offices for energy efficiency purposes.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff recommends an updated on-site RUBA assessment in the near future to ensure grant funding for the communities piped water and sewer sanitation project. The community has met all essential indicators and all but one sustainable indicator. Sufficient funds need to be allocated to cover repair and replacement (R/R) and capital replacement costs for the utility. Additionally, it's recommended that the city clerk attend DCRA 'clerk training' and the bookkeeper attend QuickBooks training provided by Turnagain Press.
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
26 of 27
Total Score:
53 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's raw sewage and solid waste hauling is combined in one enterprise, 'garbage collection' and the watering point is included in the washeteria enterprise. An FY2011 Budget was adopted on May 7, 2010 and is on file with RUBA staff for review. Monthly financial reports comparing actual revenues and expenditures vs. budgeted are provided to council at its monthly meeting; acknowledgement of the reports are reflected in the meeting minutes. According to the November and December 2010 and January 2011 invoices from the Kuiggluum Kallugvia Electric Company, there are no past due amounts owed. A receipt dated March 17, 2001, reflects the city made payment for the month of February. The city has budgeted for 2 fuel orders in 2011. The first fuel order of 8000 gallons was purchased in the fall of 2010 and the second purchase will be completed in July '11. Crowley Marine Services provides fuel for the community. Both utility enterprises are budgeted at a combined deficit of $21,175 in the amended FY2011 budget adopted January 14, 2011. An overview of the city's entire budget reflects budgeted revenues exceed expenditures by approximately $1,345. An R/R account is not provided in the city's FY2011 adopted budget.

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 utility billing and collection policies are established in Resolution #07-04-04 adopted on May 8, 2007 and Ordinance #99-08-17, adopted on November 16, 1998. Nonpayment of 4 consecutive monthly bills results in the city removing a resident's honey bucket hopper. Both documents are on file at the Bethel regional office for review. The city uses QuickBooks for all accounting and payroll purposes. Monthly utility bills are generated from QuickBooks and sent to customers by the 15 of each month as required by city ordinance. The utility clerk writes a receipt for any income received then enters that information into QuickBooks accounting system. A check is issued for all payments. The check includes the amount and a description of what the payment is for. This information is entered into the QuickBooks accounting system; a copy of the check along with a copy of the invoice is filed.

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 accounting program to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities. On March 18, 2011, RUBA staff received confirmation via email correspondence from the IRS and Department of Labor that the city is current with all tax reports and deposits. Correspondence is on file at the Bethel regional office for review. As of March 30, 2011, the city is not listed on the Lien Watch list.

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.
Yes 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
On March 8, 2011, RUBA staff verified that the city's Notice of Insurance was posted in the city offices. The worker's compensation insurance policy through the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association is valid and in effect until July 2011.

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's utility ordinance identifies the city as the owner and operator of the utility. Legislation approved by the council confirms that the council and sanitation department committee review utility policies and rates and make changes as needed. The manager, bookkeeper, and operator are competent in their positions. The city established the utilities rules and regulations in Resolution #07-04-04 adopted on May 8, 2007 and Ordinance #99-08-17, adopted on November 16, 1998.

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.
Yes 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".
Yes 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
A copy of the preventative maintenance plan was obtained by RUBA.