Quarterly Report: 2008, July - September (Q1), Minto

Community:
Minto 
Staff:
Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Native Village of Minto 
Population:
202  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
10/17/2007 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The Minto IRA Council has been responsible for the administration of the water and sewer utility in the village since the relocation of the village to its present site between 1968 and 1972. When a feasibility study was completed in 1996, the Minto IRA was on course to improve and expand the water and sewer utility in the village. They are currently constructing Phase I improvements and intend to administer the operations and maintenance of the utility when the improvements are completed. Improvements include changing the single-loop water distribution system to a 3-loop system; improving the fire safety and code issues in the water treatment plant; expanding the system to Block 6 and serving 5 unimproved lots; rehabilitate the water service main connections; construct well-houses on existing wells; provide a back-up electrical generation system, and install new boilers and water add-heat systems. The Minto IRA is currently responsible for the management of the local water and sewer services for approximately 74 occupied homes, the school, the Minto Lakeview Lodge, Post Office, a multi-purpose building (under construction) and a proposed clinic. There is no local washeteria. The Minto IRA also owns and operates a local landfill. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff traveled to Minto this quarter to assist the new Tribal Administrator with correcting some of the entries in Quickbooks Pro. Bank reconciliations, update of chart of accounts, personal leave adjustments and corrections to monthly water/sewer utility bills were all completed. The new Tribal Administrator was also taught how to make monthly financial reports using QuickBooks Pro accounting processes. RUBA staff will continue to monitor monthly finace reports and provide assistance as requested. RUBA is sponsoring a regional Introduction to QuickBooks class in Fairbanks during November. An invitation to Minto for this training will be extended. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will work to update the personnel policies, and will also have the Tribal Administrator participate in the upcoming QBP training next quarter.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
25 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
43 of 54

Finances

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
Yes 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 new Tribal Administrator was shown how to create monthly financial reports after the chart of accounts was revised in QuickBooks. This is one of the few tribes in the region to make budgets for all of its departments.

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
Although the new Tribal Administrator has had previous QuickBooks training, she has forgotten how to use the accounting program and will need to be taught again. She does learn fast and is very willing and open. She has been sending out water/sewer utility bills on a regular basis and has an excellent rapport with her customers. She has slightly over 90% collection rate.

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 Tribe does not have tax problems this quarter. However, she has been advised by two different IRS agents two different ways to submit payments and reports. RUBA advised her to heed the advice of the IRS agent in Fairbanks.

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
The Tribe currently uses TCC, Inc.'s personnel policies. The Tribe would like to adopt its own personnel policies in the near future and has asked RUBA to assist them. The Tribal Administrator will need training in QuickBooks and has been invited to participate in the QBP training next quarter.

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 new Tribal Administrator is a willing learner and also very independent. She wants to get the finances back into shape and will start applying for federal grants that the Tribe previously participated in. The Tribal Council is very involved.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
No 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".
No 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
RUBA was not able to obtain any kind of information about the operations of the water/sewer utility this quarter.