Quarterly Report: 2008, January - March (Q3), Chignik

Earl Gibson  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Chignik 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is supplied by Indian Creek, which has a dam and a reservoir. Water is treated and piped into most of the homes and the school, and a well is available for back-up water supply. A second system serves the Trident fish processor, the airport area, and a few homes, and utilizes a groundwater well as a source. A project now underway will eliminate the dual system by extending a new mainline from a new storage tank at one end of town to the airport at the other end of town. Improvements to the treatment plant will include new filters and upgraded valving and chemical feed equipment. Piped sewage for most of the community is collected in three group systems into community septic tanks and wastewater is discharged via ocean outfall lines. Approximately 45 homes are served, and the remaining few homes use individual septic tanks. An improvement project now underway will replace the multiple system structure with a unified sewer system for the entire community. A new permitted landfill and access road were recently completed. A study is needed to examine the feasibility of hydroelectric generation at Indian Lake. Electricity is provided by city owned Chignik Electric. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On January 30, 2008, RUBA staff traveled to Chignik to update the RUBA Management Assessment and introduce the newly assigned RUBA staff. We were met by the VPSO, who took us to the city office. RUBA staff met with the Deputy Clerk and Mayor. The city clerk was unavailable due to family emergency. RUBA staff discussed with Mayor new upgrade changes that have occurred with the utility. The city was now on the Rural Power System Upgrade program. Due to previous problems with keeping accounts from being overdue, the new POWERSTAT system (prepaid service) has made it simple and easy to keep accounts current and reduced or some cases eliminated overdue balances. We also discussed the new sewer project and visited the location where construction has started in getting the holding tanks in place. The next day, RUBA met again with city staff to discuss the status of the City of Chignik. Staff took time to visit the utility shop and to meet with shop employees and check on update of the City's management capacity assessment. The shop did have an inventory list and critical spare parts list. RUBA staff will continue to offer assistance to the community upon their reque3st. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA Staff will continue to work with the community to help maintain their compliance with the RUBA assessment.
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
20 of 27
Total Score:
47 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
Yes 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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The City staff is currently using QuickBooks Pro 2007 for all accounting and the City's enterprises are organized as separate departments within one company. This has made it easier for the new clerk to create meaningful financial reports. The City continues to see a significant increase in their collection rate. The current rate is not yet calculated but is anticipated to be well over 85%. Chignik does not have a manager and monthly manager reports are not submitted to the Council. However, status reports are submitted by the City staff as deemed necessary. The City has seen an increase from last year on their raw fish tax and the plan is to purchase fuel on credit and pay for it with tax revenues. As of October 1, 2007, City staff established a fuel loan account to cover this winter's fuel consumption and will pay in monthly installments with the first payment made in September for October.

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 uses QuickBooks Pro 2007 for all accounting functions. The Council has adopted a water sewer collection policy for the community and is reducing overdue customer debt and disconnecting the water service for non-payment. The utility has 88 customers. All but two customers pay on a regular basis. Of the two customers, one is on a payment plan and the other refuses to pay for their utilities. The city has good credit with Delta Western and Rural Alaska Fuels. The plan is to purchase fuel for the winter on credit. The revenues from the raw fish tax will then be used to pay for fuel on a monthly basis.

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
Payroll is completed using QuickBooks Pro, which calculates, tracks, and reports payroll tax. The City of Chignik maintains current reports/deposits with IRS and DOL. In response to an Authorization to Request Federal Tax Information, the IRS reported that the City of Chignik is current in filing tax reports and deposits.

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.
No 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 currently has workers' compensation insurance coverage provided by the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association. There are job descriptions in place for some of the City's employees but descriptions are needed for other City positions. Performance evaluations have not been established or put into place by the City staff, however, at the Mayor's request, a sample evaluation was provided by RUBA. The City has adopted a personnel policy for the community that was revised by the City Council on June 15, 1995. As of August 23, 2007, the City's personnel policy is generally adequate but staff agrees the policy should be updated to include an evaluation process. New hires receive a 90-day probation period, then the Council performs a verbal evaluation to determine whether the probationary employee should be retained permanently or dismissed. The decision is reflected in the minutes. RUBA staff can assist with updated personnel policies and job descriptions.

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
No 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 Clerk is in the process of getting a handle on the day to day utility management, with assistance from the Mayor. The City has three operators with certifications for water treatment Operator In Training (OIT) and water distribution OIT. With the new City Clerk in place, the City staff will re-address developing an organizational chart.

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.
Yes 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".
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 Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation (BBAHC) provides training money and encourages operators to continue professional growth. BBAHC sends a remote maintenance worker (RMW) periodically to provide local training and support. City operators are taking part in AML/JIA's Loss Control Incentive Program, which brings operators together via teleconference each month for a safety meeting. The water utility is currently listed as a Significant Non-Complier because of low chlorine residuals in samples taken late last year.