Quarterly Report: 2008, January - March (Q3), Tuluksak

Community:
Tuluksak 
Staff:
Paul Chimiugak  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Tuluksak Native Community 
Population:
466  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/7/2008 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The Tribal Council operates the washeteria, water treatment plant, container haul system, and electrical services for the community. The Tribal Council is the policy making body for the utility services. Only one watering point, with storage capacity of less than 7,000 gallons, serves the entire community, washeteria, clinic, and the school. Residents haul honey-buckets to 21 bins located sparingly throughout the community. A feasibility study was completed to implement a piped water and sewer system in the future. A larger water storage tank, completion of a new lagoon, and water system improvements are the community's priorities. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff traveled to Tuluksak in February to reassess the management of the utility services. This quarter the Tribal Council resumed operation of the water treatment plant and signed a contract with the school containing rates to charge for water provided. Previously the school had provided the water operators. The Yupiit School District has accepted responsibility for paying the electricity for the water treatment facility. In addition the school district provides approximately 3,000 gallons of heating fuel annually. The Tribal staff have requested that RUBA staff return to the community and provide on-site assistance with meeting essential indicators. The VSW engineer, AEA staff, and Yupik School District staff offered to assist RUBA in accommodating Tuluksak as they reorganize and accept the new responsibility of providing water to their residents. The utility manager traveled to Bethel in February to attend a RUBA sponsored utiity management course. He was an active participant and shared local experiences with the class.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to monitor the monthly financial reports, request a copy of the budget to support the budget ordinance, and request an accounts payable report showing vendors. Staff will assist, if requested, with a utility ordinance that includes a collections policy, and job descriptions.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
17 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
17 of 27
Total Score:
34 of 54

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.
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
Tuluksak Native Community did not provide an adopted FY08 budget or monthly finance reports. Their fiscal year is January 1 through December 31. The Yupiit School District (YPD) has accepted responsibility for paying the electricty for the water treatment plant. They also provide approximately 3,000 gallons of heating fuel annually for the water treatment plant under a contract with the tribe which was signed on December 31, 2007. Without submission of the budget, determination that there are sufficient revenues to cover operating expenses is not possible. No written proof of manager's reports was received. The fuel situation is in question at this time, the tribal storage tanks did not pass Coast Guard review and they are a couple of months behind on the fuel loan. They do not meet the criteria of having sufficient fuel or a financial plan to purchase it.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
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
According to the unsigned copy of the current utility ordinance for the container haul system, the customer is to be billed monthly. The utility bookkeeper has not been billing the customers due to the postage rate and the fact that the payment of the container haul has been integrated into the Electric Power Stat prepay card system. A percentage of the delinquent haul bill is also collected with each electric prepay purchase. All revenues received and expense or purchase requests are sent to the contracted management service in Soldotna for processing. A purchasing system is followed which was shared verbally at the time of the assessment. There are no written procedures for purchasing at this time. An accounts payable report showing who they owe money to was not made available at the time of the assessment. Their payroll tax calculations are done through QuickBooks Pro. When making purchase orders, the purchase order is filled out, the bookkeeper checks it against the budget, then it is submitted to the administrator for approval.

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
All payroll checks and payroll tax payments are managed and kept current through the financial management firm in the Soldotna office. There was a verbal confirmation by the IRS agent that Tuluksak is in compliance as of the date of the assessment.

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.
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
Proof of workers compensation insurance coverage was not posted in the Tuluksak office and none was provided to the Bethel office. Tuluksak Native Community does not have a personnel policy that contains employee evaluation procedures, hiring process, etc. A personnel filing system should be set up and proper records maintained. Training is encouraged by the utility and provided as funding is available. The utility manager attended a RUBA utility management course presented in Bethel this 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
There are now two sets of utility ordinances. One is adopted for the washeteria and container haul system. The second is a two part ordinance in anticipation of a piped water and sewer system and was signed by the council on December 31, 2007. The first part of the ordinance establishes a utility board and the second part is for the utility procedures. As a tribal council they are not required to follow the open meetings act, however they do try to follow posting and meeting requirements.

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.
Yes 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 two utility operators, one is certified and his certificate is hanging in the office. They have hired an accountant to help out in the utility office. In conducting a walk-through of the water treatment facility, RUBA could not find any operating and maintenance manuals, preventative maintenance check off lists, inventory control or critical spare parts lists. What RUBA did find was a daily activity log written in a notebook. RUBA staff will provide a sample copy of a safety manual, inventory control list, and a critical spare parts list.