Quarterly Report: 2011, October - December (Q2), Levelock

Community:
Levelock 
Staff:
Barbara Higgins  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Levelock Village 
Population:
84  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
2/2/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The Village of Levelock is a progressive community providing a variety of services to 36 households and approximately 84 residents. Those services include septic pumping, garbage haul, a public washeteria, electricity and fuel sales. All the homes and infrastructure are serviced by private wells and septic systems. The landfill is an unclassified dump and is operated by a solid waste manager. Garbage is collected three times a week. The solid waste management is part of the IGAP grant program. Sewage is pumped from the septic systems and dumped into a trench within a fenced area just the landfill. Lime is added to the trench. The costs of these services are subsidized by the Lake and Peninsula Borough Community Revenue Sharing funds to help prevent the septic systems from becoming a problem for the community. An active survey of the community, listing the age of each home, age of the septic system, and if there is a known problem, is maintained at the village office and is said to be current. There are currently 11 homes in need of new septic tanks and repairs to leach fields. Water in this area has a high mineral content. In recent years the community has had new infrastructure and housing projects. New wells that were drilled to a depth lower than in past projects. The new water tables appear to be producing a higher than normal mineral content. The Village Council has an active and current Alaska Energy Authority Revolving Fuel Loan. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Continued upkeep of this assessment has been encouraged however request have gone unanswered. This assessment was at the request of the Village Council in preparations for requesting construction funds for replacement of failing septic tanks and leach fields and well water softeners on individual wells. RUBA staff met with the village staff and received documentation required for the assessment. The IGAP program funds are used to manage the community's solid waste program. Levelock was reported to have funding in place for the planning phase of new wells; septic systems leech fields and a sewage lagoon. Continued efforts are made to receive documents on a quarterly basis but have not been successful..  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will remain available to provide assistance per the request of the council.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
14 of 19
Sustainable Indicators:
24 of 25
Total Score:
38 of 44

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
Yes The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
No Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
N/A 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.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The council adopts a solid waste management budget yearly. Administrative staff has not provided the council's monthly financial report. Budget amendments are completed and submitted as necessary. Funding for the utility is from the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (IGAP). The utility does not charge user fees and is subsidized by community revenue sharing money received from the Lake and Peninsula Borough. The village council administrator is developing an entity-wide budget to inlcude all funding sources and programs. The council has a revolving Alaska Energy Authority loan that is utilized for fuel. Fuel is traditionally received in the spring and fuel tanks are topped off with the last barge of the season. Residents purchase gasoline and heating fuel from the village council fuel facility.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
N/A The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
N/A 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
Some of the essential indicators are not marked because they do not apply to the management of the village's accounting system. The residents are not billed for the garbage haul or the septic pumping, as it was the vote of the council to subsidize the services for the residents with general funds. The decision was made to haul garbage in order to keep the community clean and assist in preventing residents from self hauling, and burning or placing things in the dump that should not be put there. The fire hazard and uncontrolled burn threat to the community during summer months is high. The thought is to stay proactive to provide the level of service deemed necessary to keep the community safe and healthy. The septic hauling was subsidized to assist with maintaining the septic and leach fields and to better be able to monitor those systems that are failing before it becomes a problem for the community. The council staff does bill for fuel services and electricity. The village council has adopted and actively adheres to its Policies and Procedures Manual which covers Administration, Council Members, Employees, Finance, Procurement and Property and a Council Code of Ethics. QuickBooks Premium is utilized for all accounting practices. Bank reconciliations are up to date and balanced. Pay as you go electric metering is being looked at for the electric utility.

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.
Yes The utility is current on making tax deposits.
No 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
Staff maintains an effective and accurate payroll processing system based on QuickBooks accounting software. On 12/22/10 the tax payer was requested to return a authorization to request federal tax information, it was not signed or returned. In the previous quarter the tax payer was deemed non-compliant by the IRS for not filing tax returns. On 12/22/10 the State of Alaska Department of Labor Employment Security Division granted tax clearance through the period ending 09/30/10.

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
Workers compensation insurance is purchased through Alaska National Insurance Company. The employer's notice was posted as required. On 12/23/10 the Division of Workers Compensation verfied coverage was active. RUBA viewed the personnel and office procedures manual adopted by the council with assistance from the EPA Indian Government Assistance Program. The manual was prepared and presented to the council in a training workshop of the Acturus Group LLC. The procurement section of the manual was prepared and presented in a training workshop by SCS LLC. The manual is well written and includes a safety policy section, allows for a probationary period for new hires and allows and supports training opportunities for all employees and council members. Personnel files contained an I-9, job application and letter of acceptance or the section of the council minutes offering the job. The policy is adequate and appropriate for the level of staffing in the council office.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
N/A The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
N/A The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
N/A The utility has an adequately trained operator or operators.
No 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 decision was made to subsidize garbage haul by a council motion and vote. The village council staff provided the organizational chart. The council has adopted and adheres to a work plan. The utility manager is also the trained operator. RUBA staff spent time with the manager and discussed his participation in training as well his membership in the Tribal Solid Waste Advisory Network group that provides on going college courses. The utility bookkeeper has received training and actively stays current with updates to computer software through the Bristol Bay Native Association and other federal programs.

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.
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.
N/A The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
N/A 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 village provides septic pumping services and maintains the sewage trench. The village council is not required to have a certified water operator or wastewater operator or provide the community with a consumer confidence report. Levelock is not on the Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list. The solid waste operator does maintain solid waste management certifications, is an active member of the Tribal Solid Waste Advisory Network, and stays current on college courses offered in solid waste managment. The designated operator for the sewage pumping service maintains direct contact with the administrator before and after service is rendered. Safety meetings between the solid waste manager and the septic pumping contractor occur on a regular basis with reports to the council. The utility has an inventory list and maintains an active file of critical spare parts for the septic pumper.