Quarterly Report: 2014, 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. 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. ANTHC plans on hiring a construction foreman to construct the force main realignment and repairs project in July 2014. They will also deliver a pumper truck by September 2014. Kiana is an ARUC community. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Kotzebue staff traveled to Kiana with the Deputy Director of the Division of Community and Regional Affairs mainly to discuss with the city, and a private property owner options for negotiating with the property owner regarding temporary access to the city in order to repair the city's sewer force main. Although this project had funding, the project was on hold until the city can come to some agreement with the property owner allowing access onto the owner's property to repair the city's sewer force main. Several attempts over the last year had been made by the city without success. DCRA staff met first with city officials, looked at the code of ordinances and reviewed letters, deeds and other relevant documentation. We then met with property owners to further gather facts surronding the issue, and provided the parties with informaiton regarding their litigation and mediation options. The Stein's agreed to signing the agreement allowing the city access and further agreed to work with the city administrator and the Kotzebue based LGS regarding further negotiations to relocate the Stein's away from their contaminated property. The project can now move forward, no funding will be lost for this project and the sewer contaminated property will now be contained. Kotzebue staff called to follow through in getting the tax reports and monthly financials from the administrator who faxed them in soon after. We discussed the draft ordinance provided to her couple of weeks ago to aide in the process of assessing fines and penalties of curfew violators. It will be presented to the council at their next meeting. Kotzebue staff also followed up on the onsite trip made in July. The administrator was to hire an appraiser to appraise the Stein property who had granted an easement through their property in order for the city to do repairs at the lift station across their property. The appraisal is needed to determine the cost of the land in hopes to do a swop in the near future. Kotzebue staff provided assistance in reviewing their code of ordinance on filling of a vacancy. A council member relocated a month ago who finally provided the clerk with a resignation letter. After reading of their ordinance which stated that the council must accept the resignation, the administrator decided to put it on next weeks meeting agenda which will be in time to include in their election notice to fill the vacant seat.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Kotzebue staff will plan to travel to Kiana when requested to follow up on the Stein property utility easement agreement.
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
25 of 26
Total Score:
52 of 53


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.
N/A Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The balanced budget includes all the revenues and expenses for the utility that the council receives from ARUC on a monthly a basis. The monthly report shows that they are current in paying their electric bills, they purchased fuel delivered by barge to last until next barge season and that they are receiving enough revenues to cover operating expenses. Their collection rate is 93%. Although their revenues and expenditures are equal to those budget, they do not have enough funds for major repair and replacement.

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 following the adopted collection policy and provides the plant operator with a list of disconnects. They have a system in place that accounts for receivables, payables, payroll and cash using the budget as a chart of accounts. ARUC reviews the most current monthly financial report, completed bank reconciliation and the budget before purchases are made.

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. The city is not on the Lien Watch List.

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
ARUC has insurance coverage until October 2014. The city uses AMLJIA as their insurance company and is current. ARUC has an updated personnel policy in place that includes a process for evaluations (using the job description), hiring, and probationary period. ARUC pay for their operators to attend all training available to get them certified and send their utility staff to any RUBA training offered as 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.
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 has adopted the necessary ordinances to give it authority and works with ARUC to ensure that they are active and enforce policy. They follow the adopted organizational chart, and meet monthly as required complying with the open meetings act. The city has one plant operator who received his water distribution provisional.

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.
Yes 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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The previous water plant operator is now back at work for Kiana water plant who has his provisional for water distribution. The Manager and council receives a monthly O and M report and routinely spot checks the facilities to make sure items are being completed. The operator provides to the administrator a report on a routine basis and works with ARUC to maintain the inventory and critical spare parts list. They are not on the SNC list.