Quarterly Report: 2011, July - September (Q1), Kiana

Margaret Hansen  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Kiana 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Kiana operates the piped water and sewer system and maintains a central watering point where residents come to haul water to their residences. The City also maintains honeybucket pits and a sewage lagoon. The City Council is the policy making body for the utility. A 200,000-gallon steel tank is intermittently filled from two wells near the Kobuk River. Water is chlorinated prior to distribution through buried water mains. Piped water and sewer are provided to 75 homes, the clinic, school, and community hall. Kiana maintains a 6-inch buried gravity sewer system, which drains to a lift station and is pumped through a buried force main to the sewage treatment lagoon northeast of the village. A few households haul water and use honeybuckets or septic tanks. The landfill is located west of the sewage disposal lagoon. A water and sewer master plan is being completed for needed infrastructure improvements. They are currently having problems with the new lift station installed. ANTHC worked on the new lift station but still needs to make sure when a power outage occurs that the pump in this new lift station will automatically turn back on. The city reports that they have received a new pump and the lift station issues are fixed. They will have continue this summer with water and sewer projects. They will be replacing a majority of water lines for the east loop. This last quarter a water main froze leaving 5 homes without water/sewer for a couple of weeks. Only two are still without water/sewer which will be fixed this summer. Kiana is an ARUC community. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Kotzebue RUBA provided phone, fax and email assistance to the bookkeeper and administrator on election workers pay, whether canvass and reorganization meetings are special meetings, researched information the administator requested on policies regarding leave, and coordinated with AMLJIA and the City of Ambler regarding who had insurance policies similiar to what she had requested. We also discussed city clerk training available. RUBA staff is available to provide onsite clerk training upon request. Kotzebue RUBA also coordinated with the city and tribe regarding qualifying to receive their FY11 Community Revenue Sharing. The Memorandum of Agreement with the tribe was terminated June 2009 so the city had to wait for the tribes audit to be completed to include with their certified financial statement. Kotzebue RUBA worked with the Tribe Director and their auditor to get the information in the format needed. Kotzebue RUBA also worked with the tribe director regarding the Title 4 Local Option Law. After reseaching Title 4, Title 29 and their ordinances and coordinating with Anchorage staff, we provided her with the wording, references to timing, signatures and election procedures which she received and discussed with the administrator. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Kotzebue staff still plans on traveling to Kiana to do newly elected officials training.
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
23 of 27
Total Score:
50 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 their ARUC financials it shows that they are following their adopted budget which shows all revenues and expenses for the utility which are equal to those budgeted. In reviewing the report submitted to the city, it shows that they are current inpaying all their water/wastewater electric bills, have an adequate financial plan for the purchase of fuel, the utility is receiving sufficient funds to cover their operating expenses. ARUC has established a repair and replacement fund but has only enough funds to cover emergencies costs.

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
ARUC bills the customers on a monthly basis follwing the adopted collection policy. They have a system in place which tracks customers, reports past due accounts, an accouts payable system, payroll system, a cash receipt system and cash disbursement system that records incoming money and how it was spent including a purchase system that follows an approval process to compare to budgeted amounts.

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
ARUC provided a completed tax authorization from IRS showing they meet all essential indicators.

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 uses AMl/JIA as their insurance company who reports that they are paid in full until July 2011 which the city has posted. They have a personnel policy that was reviewed but would like to update it during RUBA's next visit. It does provide a hiring process, a probationary period, written evaluation process that ties to their written job description which they have in their personnel folder that also contains the I-9, job application and letter of acceptance. Every time RUBA has a RUBA management class here in Kotzebue they do send staff to attend and the water plant operators to training for certification as well.

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 is the known entity who adopted the necessary ordinances to give it authority who works with ARUC making sure that they are active and enforce policy. They follow the adopted organizational chart meeting monthly as required complying with the open meetins act. Along with ARUC, the city too has adequately trainined City Administrator and Bookkeeper. They have adequately trained on site the two new operators.

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".
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 new alternate water plant operator is working towards necessary certification who plans to attend the next water and waste water treatment class in Kotzebue this fall. They do have a preventative maintenance plan that they follow for all sanitation facilities. The Manager and council receives a monthly O and M report and routinely spot checks the facilities to make sure items are being completed but it is still unknown whether or not they have held safety meetings. ARUC has plans to travel to Kiana to assess the needs due to management issues unresolved but they are providing the level of services that was proposed. The operator provides to the administrator a report on a routine basis who maintain the inventory and critical spare parts list. They have completed their CCR and are not on the SNC list.