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

Brendan Smyth  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Koyukuk 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Koyukuk operates the central watering point at the washeteria and residents haul their own water. The city also maintains honeybucket pits and the sewage lagoon. The City council is the policy making body for the utility. Residents haul treated well water from the washeteria and use honeybuckets or pit privies. Households are not plumbed. The school and washeteria use City water, with sewage disposal into a lagoon. A master plan is completed, and preliminary work has begun to upgrade the community to a flush/haul system. The five households on the honey bucket haul demonstration system have been inoperable since Fall 2004, due to the trailer not being able to withstand the weight of the water tank. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Fairbanks RUBA staff traveled to the city of Koyukuk in July and conducted training for the new city administrator. The new administrator has not dealt with State of Alaska laws and requested training with Title 29 and other aspects of the state statutes. RUBA staff also informed the administrator of our program involvement in the rural communities and what our program offers in terms of assistance and training. RUBA staff was able to discuss the steps the community will need to work towards accessing the community revenue sharing. Working on the budget showed how unreliable the current QuickBooks file is. The need for the administrator to work on rebuilding an accurate QuickBooks file that reflects the current financial situation of the community and the connection monthly finance reports have to the RUBA management assessment was discussed. RUBA staff remains in contact with the administrator and the community to receive updates on their budget and financial situation. Following that visit, RUBA staff has worked with the administrator concerning questions dealing with city employees being elected to the council. RUBA staff is working with the city council to arrange a date for presenting onsite council training. The city contacted the Fairbanks office concerning finance assistance and CDBG grant application questions that were answered. RUBA staff shared training opportunity information for a water training course. RUBA staff has also contacted the community to assist in budget creation so they can receive the Community Revenue Sharing funds.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to discuss the RUBA assessment with the administrator and will attempt to travel out to assist in the deficit areas in Finances and Organization. RUBA staff will continue to assist the city as requested.
Essential Indicators:
15 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
14 of 27
Total Score:
29 of 53


Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
No Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
No 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.
No 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.
No YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.
No YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city currently has not sent in the financial reports requested by RUBA staff. RUBA staff will await reception of the reports to update the essential and sustainable indicators. RUBA staff has talked to the administrator and she knows what reports are needed and will send them in as soon as possible. RUBA staff was informed that the city has received enough fuel for the winter via the last barge of the season.

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.
No 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.
No 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.
No 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 utility has a collection policy and bills regularly, though RUBA staff has not received any reports that were requested for their A/R system. The have a accounts payable system and they have a payroll system that calculates and records correctly. A cash receipt system is in place though currently a disbursement system is not kept. They have a chart of accounts that is easy to read. The city needs to complete bank reconciliations for the utility accounts. The city does have a system in place that requires permission to purchase parts, chemicals, etc..

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.
N/A 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
There are no current tax issues reported.

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.
Yes 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
RUBA staff know the community purchased a updated insurance policy in July 2010 good till July 2011. The city has a personnel policy that they follow and adequate job descriptions that they use for hiring new employees. The utility has a written hiring process and keeps personnel information for employees in employee files. The utility has a probationary period and provides training opportunities to the employees when needed.

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.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
No 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 entity that owns the utility is known, and will operate the utility. The council recently has begun to conduct meetings regularly and make decisions concerning the city and the utility. The policy body has yet to show they are enforcing policy. The utility has a trained manager, though no trained bookkeeper is currently working in the office, the city currently does not have a trained operator and a new operator is not yet hired. The administrator has taken on the duties of the operator temporarily and has been trained on site by the local Remote Maintenance Worker. The utility has the necessary certifications from VSW to operate the utility though at this time, they do not have a ordinance. Due to the change over in the city office the council and administrator needs to meet to form a new organizational chart, the council is meeting regularly and they comply with the open meetings act.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
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.
No The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
No 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
The City of Koyukuk does not currently have a full time operator to work their water plant, the administrator is working at the plant with limited training from the assigned RMW in Fairbanks. The utility does have a preventative maintenance plan, but without a regular operator to follow the plan it is not a useful tool. The manager does not receive reports, there is no safety manual or safety meetings. The utility, luckily, has not suffered a break down or outage recently. They utility does operate at proposed levels, due to the administrator keeping up with bare bones maintenance. There is no operator so reports can not be given to the council routinely. Currently RUBA staff does not have a recent CCR report. The utility currently is not on the November SNC list. The utility needs to have a operator so they can track there inventory and critical spare parts lists.