Quarterly Report: 2010, April - June (Q4), 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. The site needs to be relocated. 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. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Kotzebue RUBA staff traveled to Kiana in June to provide onsite training and assistance to the council and staff on financial management and budgeting. The May 2010 monthly finance report required revision after reconciliation was completed. RUBA and Kiana staff also closed out the federal economic stimulus grant, updated the workers compensation policy, and processed a fuel order and price information which they used to apply for an Alaska Energy Loan. RUBA staff also reviewed the city ordinances to assist in amending the organizational chart. RUBA staff also contacted the city regarding budgeted amounts for fuel and gas that shows a $264,000 surplus at the end of FY11. The city's goal is to save enough funds to purchase fuel next year to prevent having to take out a loan and pay interest. Kotzebue RUBA was also contacted by the city to discuss staffing needs, local option board advice and to request on site assistance. The administrator stayed in Kotzebue an extra day after attending a week long Financial Manangement for Rural Utilities class hheld in Kotzebue for help with her budget.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Kotzebue staff has been requested to travel back to Kiana this winter after elections to provide council training on Meetings.
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
The city just adopted their FY 11 balanced realistic budget and amended their FY 10 budget as well. They are now an ARUC community. The council receives monthly financial reports from administration that lists all revenues and expenses in comparison to the budget which shows that they are all current in paying their bills and is just receiving the year's fuel supply and has a financial plan to purchase more which she reports in her manager's report. In reviewing their May monthly financial report is shows that they are receiving revenues above those budgeted and expenditures are at a level equal to those budgeted.

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 council turned over their utilities to ARUC who bills the customers on a monthly basis. The city utilizes quickbooks which track accounts receivable, payables correctly calculates payroll which they file in their personnel file. They also use quickbooks to record incoming money and how it was spent. They require approval on all check requests which they make sure is a budgeted amount. The administrator reconciles to the bank and provides to the council a monthly financial report in comparison to the budget which she uses as their chart of account to identify categories.

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 which accurately calculates, track and report payroll liabilities. They are current in filing tax reports, making deposits and now have no past due tax liabilities.

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
When contacting AML/JIA, they are current with their insurance for FY 11 which they just received and posted. The city is using their personnel policies adopted many years ago that has been recently reviewed by Commerce. It includes an adequate written hiring process and a probationary period, orientation, job training. They have adequate written job descriptions for all positions including an updated one worked on while RUBA was on site providing training and assistance for the bookkeeper position. Now that the city is separated from the MOA, the administrator will schedule written personnel evaluations which ties it to the job description. They do provide training opportunities to staff as needed which was demonstrated by sending the new administrator to the RUBA Financial Mangement workshop last month.

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 has adopted the necessary ordinance to give it authority with an adopted organizational chart so the council is the known owner who meets monthly enforcing their policies abiding by the open meetings act. The city hired their previous City Clerk of three years as the administrator who has been adequately trained by the previous administrator, bookkeeper and RUBA staff. She also has certified operators and an alternate who is attending the next training course offered in Kotzebue this fall.

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. The 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 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.