Quarterly Report: 2009, July - September (Q1), 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. The FEMA funded the replacement drainfield of the washeteria project is just about complete. Hopefully this will solve the freezing problem every winter. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Kotzebue RUBA staff check in with the administrator from time to time to see how their erosion project was going. They are making good progress but was only able to complete 400 feet this year on the south side where the bulk fuel tanks are located. They have funds to do another 1,200 feet next summer. The South and the West winds do the worst damage.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff may not make it to Kivalina until January 09.
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
22 of 27
Total Score:
49 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
In reviewing her monthly financial reports in comparison to their budget, this city is doing very well following it. She has paid in advance her fuel and electricity bills for the remainder of the fiscal year.

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
Although the city has a collection policy, they currently only provide a coin operated water picket at the water plant for folks to go pay for and get the amount of water they want. They also operate a washeteria which freezes every December thru April during the cold months. This is part of the project this summer to repair. The city has all systems in place to track customers, accounts payable, payroll, in coming cash, and cash disbursements which are kept current utilizing the Northwest Arctic Borough double entry accounting system. They do, however, use the computer to post payroll to their individual compensation records. Once the city sees a need to purchase an item at the store, for instance, the clerk completes a check request for the administrator to approve, who checks the latest finance report and any other outstanding purchase orders to determine that there is enough funds in the budgeted line item before approving.

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
RUBA staff reviewed the tax files and deposits to find that they are keeping current with deposits and payments. The Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor deem the City of Kivalina compliant at this time.

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 of Kivalina has workers compensation coverage which was posted showing coverage from July 2008 to July 2009. Personnel files revealed that all necessary forms were in the file including evaluations. Once the job is announced posting for at least two weeks for permanent hire, the administrator and council interviews applicants and hire based on merit. Once hired, she has the applicant fill out the appropriate forms, (still need to include the letter of acceptance), reviews the job description, read through the personnel policy and is placed on a three month probation. Once the employee completes her probation, the administrator then does the probationary evaluation.

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 council and the public understand that they own and are responsible to operate and maintain all utility facilities. The council is active in enforcing policy who adopted the necessary ordinances to give it authority to operate. The city has a trained City Administrator who has been on the job now for approximately 3 years. She rehired the previous clerk of 10 years so has the experience needed to do the job of a bookkeeper as well. They do have an operator who recently received certification for Water Treatment and Water Distribution and another who has been trained to oversee the day to day operations as well who has not taken the tests yet at this point.

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.
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.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
They do have an operator certified who works at the plant but need to get the other operator to the next training to become certified as well. The city has developed a preventative maintenance plan which they are utilizing to prepare for the up coming winter. Hopefully they will also complete a safety manual and hold a safety meeting as well. The major problem is the washeteria once again had to be shutdown due to freezing problems. It is being repaired this summer so it does not occur again.