Quarterly Report: 2014, October - December (Q2), Lime Village

Community:
Lime Village 
Staff:
Roberta Eleazer  
DCRA Regional Office:
Anchorage 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Lime Village 
Population:
29 (2012 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate) 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
8/3/2012 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
12/23/2013 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Lime Village is located on the Stony River, 50 miles southeast of its junction with the Kuskokwim River. The village is 111 air miles south of McGrath, 137 air miles east of Aniak, and 185 air miles west of Anchorage. Lime Village is a Dena'ina Athabascan settlement practicing a subsistence lifestyle. Water is drawn from a community well, which supplies the washeteria. The washeteria facility provides drinking water, restroom, shower, and laundry facilities. There is no piped water service to homes in the community. The school and teacher housing were built with individual septic systems, but the school is no longer operational as the community's school aged population dropped below the minimum required. Other homes and buildings in the village are not fully plumbed and rely on pit privies. The washeteria is managed by the Lime Village Traditional Council.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
While in Anchorage to attend a BIA conference, the Lime Village council president, council secretary, and water utilities manager met with Anchorage RUBA staff regarding the utility’s fuel situation and the council's status. The previous administrator vacated the position approximately one year ago. The tribal president and three other council members no longer live in the community. It was reported by the president of the council that the council has not held a meeting since 2012. The community ordered 6,500 gallons of fuel at $9.38 a gallon using funds received from the Department of Natural Resources for equipment rental, but the fuel delivery was delayed due to lack of payments and weather. The utility borrowed fuel from the phone company to keep the utility running. Fuel was delivered on December 11, 2013 and is anticipated to last until March. The tribal president requested assistance in applying for emergency funds. RUBA staff and Lime Village council members later met with the BIA Human Services director to discuss the availability of funds. The director stated that the grant program for small and needy communities was discontinued and that there is no funding available specifically for fuel. She explained that the council did not received any BIA funds this year because it has been inactive since March of 2012, that the council needs to reorganize and function, and that the FY2015 grant applications will be sent to the community in June. RUBA staff helped the council draft a formal letter of request to the BIA contracting officer. The utility manager reported that he received parts for the washeteria and it is running again, but that it is very difficult to make the washeteria sustainable. The utility has fewer customers than expected because of declining population and closure of the school. The current population is now between 15-20 persons. The facility’s generators consume 27 gallons of fuel a day. Smaller generators are available but need to be programed and balanced. The facility was a test site for solar power and has 100 solar panels on-site, but needs a new invertor and two batteries to utilize them: the utility manager is waiting for a quote from a private contractor. The facility has many needs and assistance was requested from the Remote Maintenance Worker (RMW) program. A work plan was developed between the council and RUBA to obtain quotes for programing the small generators needed to cut fuel usage in half; determine if solar power is an energy efficient alternative; conduct on-site council training on roles and responsibilities and financial management of the utility; and coordinate with the RMW on facility repairs.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to work with the Lime Village administrator for training and tax issues. Additionally, RUBA will assist the community in requesting emergency fuel funding for spring fuel and continue to help the council meet esssential indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
5 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
5 of 26
Total Score:
10 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.
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.
No 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 Lime Village Traditional Council is the governing body of the utility. Residents are charged for tokens to use the washeteria laundry and shower facilities, the community subsidizes washeteria costs with monies from annual grants funding, particularly BIA funds. BIA grant monies contribute to village personnel expenses for the full-time tribal administrator, full-time public works/water operator, part-time janitor, part-time electrical utility operators, and occasional maintenance personnel - all of whom are involved in caring for city utilities. Lime Village does have a repair and maintenance account established for its water utility, also subsidized through grant funding; this has been sufficient to cover repairs and parts replacement.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No 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.
No An accounts payable system is in place.
No The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
No 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
No 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.
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
Lime Village uses QuickBooks for all its accounting - tribal grants, the electric utility, the water utility, and payroll. There is a new tribal administrator who has not attended trainings and stated she is not sure of what needs to be done.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
No The utility is current on filing tax reports.
No 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
A signed Authorization to Request Federal Tax Information returned from the IRS on November 26, 2013 indicated the Lime Village Council has not yet filed its 941 for all quarters of 2013. The State Department of Labor gave tax clearance through December 20, 2013.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted and uses a Personnel Policy, which has been reviewed by an attorney, AML or Commerce for topics and language.
No 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 community does not have a personnel policy or an employee handbook. Job descriptions are available for all positions, but need updating. Individual personnel folders contain all required information, including I-9s, job applications, and personnel actions. There is not an active, scheduled practice of regular employee evaluation and feedback. RUBA staff encouraged the development of once yearly formal employee evaluation to include both written and verbal feedback. Money has been budgeted for costs of employee travel to trainings, as well as council member attendance at state-wide conferences. The community places a high priority in offering ongoing support for its employees to attend training opportunities.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No 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.
No The policy making body meets as required.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The Lime Village Traditional Counci is inactive. The council secretary has been filling in on an as-needed basis however, she lacks adequate training.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A 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.
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.
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.
N/A 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
Lime Village does not filter or chemically treat its water. As a small, untreated water utility, certification for the water operator and a Consumer Confidence Report are not required. The community does voluntarily send out yearly water samples, to confirm that there are no contaminants. The water utility is not listed on the October 2013 Significant Non-Compiler List.