Quarterly Report: 2014, January - March (Q3), Takotna

Community:
Takotna 
Staff:
Roberta Eleazer  
DCRA Regional Office:
Anchorage regional office 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Takotna Village 
Population:
56 2013 Department of Labor Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
1/30/2007 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
3/24/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water from Gold Creek is treated and hauled by residents from the washeteria. Water is also hauled from from a natural spring west of town. Approximately 20 percent of homes have storage tanks with running water for the kitchen, but no homes are completely plumbed. Community buildings use individual wells and wastewater tanks. Honeybuckets and outhouses are used for wastewater disposal. A feasibility study for water and wastewater improvements is complete, but funds have not been secured for construction.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Anchorage RUBA staff traveled to Takotna on January 14-17 to assist the tribal administer in filing late quarterly federal payroll tax reports, which included payroll for the water operator. Upon the return to Anchorage, RUBA staff met with the IRS tribal advocate, to submit 2011-2013 employer’s quarterly federal tax return forms, 2012 W2’s, tax information authorization form-8821 and to discuss ensuing penalties for the Takotna tribal council. RUBA staff informed the advocate that Tanana Chief’s Conference controls the tribe’s finances and discussed the difficulties the tribe has encountered making payroll tax payments. The IRS electronic transfer policy was forwarded to Tanana Chief’s Conference (TCC) program coordinator in December and fund accountant on January 20. RUBA staff asked TCC to provide a strategy for the Takotna tribal administrator to follow for future payroll tax payments. Anchorage RUBA staff also requested TCC and the Takotna tribal administrator to determine the financial resources of the tribe and submit a check to the IRS as soon as possible for the back taxes. Additionally, the Takotna tribal administrator and TCC were advised the fourth quarter 2013 payroll taxes were due on February 15. Takotna tribal administrator advised the Anchorage RUBA staff that all past due accounts for the water/wastewater utility have been paid including the Iditarod School District. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Anchorage RUBA staff will mentor the Takotna administrator on the development of a FY15 utility budget and financial reports to address deficient finance essential indicators. RUBA staff will advise Tanana Chief’s Conference project manager of these requirements. Additionally, RUBA staff will continue to advise the tribal administrator about the importance of purchasing a worker's compensation policy.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
20 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
15 of 27
Total Score:
35 of 53

Finances

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.
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.
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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Tanana Chief's Conference (TCC) is the regional non-profit entity charged with managing compacted Bureau of Indian Affairs money allocated to the Takotna Tribe. The utility expenses are listed under the self-governance grant management report which additionally includes expenses for client assistance, program operating costs, special program costs, building, facilities, janitorial, office and special program supplies, and travel expenses. Actual revenues are not reported in this budget. The report does not include a repair and replacement fund. Total utility expenses are reported at $56, 659.32 for Oct 1 - March 3, 2014. Wages are reported under the program operating 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
The Takotna tribal administrator reported that all utility accounts are current.

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
According to the Taxpayer Advocate Office March 2014 report, Takotna Tribal Council is in compliance with Federal Tax Deposit requirements. Tax clearance from the Alaska Department of Labor was granted. Takotna is not listed in the November - January 2013 Lien Watch report.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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.
No 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 utility adopted the Tanana Chief's Conference personnel policy and is in the process working with TCC government specialist Lisa Jaeger to complete more personnel policies for the utility. The utility provides training opportunities to staff as the budget allows. Staff was registered for QuickBooks training but cancelled due to weather.

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
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 tribal administrator is an adequately trained manager and bookkeeper for the utility. However, the process of requesting payments for payroll taxes and insurance through TCC has been very difficult.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
No 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.
Yes 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 utility has a trained operator with a certification set to expire 12/31/2014. Water samples are being submitted on time.