Quarterly Report: 2010, 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 for the wastewater treatment plant. Started work on wastewater treatment plant this summer but ran across some human remains and artifacts so had to bring out an archeologist which slowed project down but so only got the foundation and bin walls framed. Work will have to resume in June of 2010. Delivery of the project may have to extend out to 2011.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff contacted the city to see if they can send someone to employment tax workshop in Kotzebue. They were going to be out of town that week. Staff called to get updated RUBA assessment information and is reviewing and talking with the administrator on activities to date. RUBA staff received and reviewed the operator reports via email. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will continue to monitor the status of their assessment helping them to reach all indicators.
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
48 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 the administrator's monthly report to the council she provides them with a financial report in comparison to the adopted realistic budget that lists all the revenues and expenses for the utility as well. The city is receiving revenues sufficient to cover operating expenses. Although the year to date revenues and expenditures are equal to those budgeted, they do not have any funds to set aside for repair and replacement of systems. Again this year the administrator used her Community Revenue Sharing to pay in advance for the cities electric and fuel needs for the 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
The city has a collection policy billing customers monthly using the Northwest Arctic Borough accounting system to keep track of accounts receivable, payble, payroll, cash receipts and cash disbursements journal. They use their budget as their chart of accounts reconciling to the bank every month. They use the monthly financial report, cash flow and any outstanding purchase orders to gauge if they have funds prior to purchase of any items.

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 utilitizes the borough accounting system to accurately calculate track and report any tax liabilities. They are current in making tax deposits as well as filling reports. She is trying to get a loan from Alaska USA to pay off their IRS debt since she was denied a loan from Wells Fargo.

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 has workmen's compensation posted showing coverage from July 2009 to July 2010 which they paid in full. They have not made any changes to their personnel policies that included an adequate hiring process which had been reviewed by the Northwest Arctic Borough Lawyer when passed . All job descriptions are current which they tie into their job evaluations. There has been no turnover so all the files have in the information as reviewed before. The water plant operator plans on attending the next training session here in Kotzebue this next quarter. The administrator is planning on attend the grant writing workshop here in Kotzebue in October.

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 council understands they own and operate the utility using the adopted ordinances enforcing the policies meeting monthly following the open meetings act. They continue to enjoy the long term staff who follows the chain of command of the 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
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.
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".
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
Their main operator is certified for water distribution OIT and Water Treatment OIT. The alternate has those certifications as well including wastewater collection and wastewater treatment. They do have a preventative maintenance plan and provide the council and administrator an monthly O and M report who routinely spot checks the facilities to make sure maintenance items are being completed. They have not had any safety meetings to date. The washeteria is the facility management issue that is still unresolved. They expect that to freeze again when the temperature reaches 40 below because they have an heat trace that is not working.