Quarterly Report: 2013, July - September (Q1), Stevens Village

Community:
Stevens Village 
Staff:
 
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Native Village of Stevens 
Population:
63  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
10/31/2012 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Stevens Village has a small washeteria with three washers, two dryers, two showers, and two bathrooms. The washeteria was upgraded in 2002. The water plant provides service to the school and to the health clinic. Residents haul water from a watering point, and use honey buckets and outhouses for wastewater disposal. Wastewater from the washeteria, clinic and school is disposed of in a lagoon. A VSW sanitation planning feasibility study was completed in 2002, but was not approved. The scope of the new feasibility study has been changed several times to include additional alternatives in an effort to try to identify options that are affordable to the community. Stevens Village had planned to constructing a new multi-use facility to include a Denali Commission funded Clinic and a Hygiene Center with public showers and restroom facilities, but may be looking at renovating existing facilities as a more viable option. A design for a new solid waste facility has been completed. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On August 28, Fairbanks RUBA staff traveled to Stevens Village to conduct training with tribal staff. RUBA staff worked with the First Chief reviewing the RUBA assessment and the areas needing improvement. In efforts to meet indicators on the RUBA assessment under utility finance and accounting systems, RUBA staff provided QuickBooks software assistance and explained how the program works. RUBA staff also explained the Power Cost Equalization (PCE) program which the community was not aware of or accessing. PCE funds would reduce the high energy costs and provide financial relief to the residents. Fairbanks RUBA staff was able to work with the First Chief to outline the reports that needed to be done. RUBA staff will schedule a second trip to complete the PCE reports and train the clerk on submitting monthly reports.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Fairbanks RUBA staff will travel to the village for more training events. The current administrator is traveling to Fairbanks for a RUBA clerk training in October. RUBA staff will continue to work with village staff to improve the current Essential Indicators that need work.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
21 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
11 of 26
Total Score:
32 of 52

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.
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.
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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The village does not have a utility budget that outlines the expenses and revenues. The utility has not adopted a realistic budget. The financial reports given to the council are basic but do convey the village's financial status. The utility is current in paying its electric bills. The utility has on hand adequate fuel and the village orders fuel when necessary. The utility is not receiving user fees sufficient to cover operating expenses. The utility does not collect enough revenues to cover operating expenses or Repair and Replacement costs. The YTD revenues and expenses are not at a level equal to or above those budgeted. The monthly manager's report is prepared and presented at the council meeting. The budget is not amended, as a budget is not created.

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.
No 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 village has adopted a collection policy and follows it. The only water utility customer is the school; they are billed regularly. The accounts receivable is in place and tracks the customer, reporting past due amounts. The accounts payable system tracks the bills the utility owes. The payroll system is correct and records are kept. A cash receipt system is in place; the clerk uses a receipt book. The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent. The chart of accounts is located with the accountant in Fairbanks; RUBA staff has observed that it is reasonable and usable. Monthly bank reconciliations are being maintained. There is no purchasing system in place for the utility.

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
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reported that Stevens Village is in compliance with federal employment tax filing and federal tax deposit requirements. No recorded Notice of Federal Tax Lien against the utility has been located. The utility is compliant with state employment security contributions.

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.
No The utility has an adequate written hiring process.
No 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 has a posted a notice of workers compensation insurance policy with AMLJIA that is effective until June 2013. The utility has a personnel policy and a copy of it is located in the Fairbanks RUBA office. The utility has job descriptions. The utility does not do regular employee evaluation that follow job descriptions. The utility does not have a written hiring process and does not keep employee files. The utility has a 90-day probationary period but does not conduct evaluations of employees. The utility provides training opportunities for 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.
No 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.
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.
N/A The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The village recently adopted the necessary bylaws to give it authority to run the utility. The tribal council changed during this year and had been meeting regularly until the summer months; RUBA staff talked to the clerk and learned that issues arose this summer and meetings stopped. RUBA staff await confirmation of meeting minutes from the village administrator. The utility has only one customer and there is a contract between that customer and the village confirming they will pay a certain amount a month for the services rendered. The clerk (who does the job of clerk and post master) acts as the utility manager. Stevens Village has a trained bookkeeper in Fairbanks. RUBA staff has been informed there is a substitute operator who has attended classes, yet needs to complete additional classes to renew old certifications. The village has adopted the necessary regulations to give it authority to operate the utility. The utility has not adopted an 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
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
RUBA staff was informed that a member of the community conducts the duties of the water operator and is working towards getting a certification from the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing facility. Currently the system is in transition due to the facility being upgraded. The utility does not have a safety manual or hold safety meetings. The utility has not suffered from any major system failure and is operating at a level the was proposed. The operator provides verbal reports to the manager on a routine basis and also routinely contact the Fairbanks Remote Maintenance Worker (RMW) assigned to the village. The village is not on the SNC list as of July 2012. No inventory or critical spare parts lists are maintained.