Quarterly Report: 2009, January - March (Q3), Venetie

Community:
Venetie 
Staff:
Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Village of Venetie 
Population:
184  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/8/2009 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well near the Chandalar River, then treated and stored in a tank. The existing well has an interim permit pending determination of whether it is to be classified as groundwater or ground water under the direct influence of surface water (GWUDISW). A circulating system and septic tank system constructed in 1980 failed within two years of construction. The water transmission line froze last year, and the utility is still using 'fire hoses' on a portion of its water transmission line, until funding is available for a more permanent solution. Currently six homes and the health clinic are on a flush/haul system. A washeteria constructed in the early 1990's has 6 washers and six dryers, plus shower facilities. Electricity is provided by Venetie Village Electric. The washeteria also uses a small solar power system to provide some electricity. Construction of a new lagoon was completed in 2005, and it has been operating satisfactorily. There are plans for construction of a haul garage and for installation of 15 more water/sewer haul services. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Several recommendations made by RUBA staff to the tribal administrator are still being ignored and not implemented, mainly financial issues. The tribal administrator called and mentioned that he had found the meter records for the daily meter reading that was suppose to be submitted to Alaska Energy Authority's PCE program for PCE reimbursement several months ago. RUBA staff had travelled to the community to train the administrator how to fill out the forms. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
There STILL has not been any changes to the recommendations made by RUBA during his last visit listed below. The recommendations are still the same. These bullets are recommended to the tribe by RUBA staff: 'Draft comprehensive utilities budgets for the Tribe with itemized revenues and expenditures 'Review revenues and expenditures to see if revenues cover the expenditures in all the utilities run by the Tribe. 'Review and actively collect accounts receivables. 'Inform the tribal council what is owed to the Tribe by all utilities customers 'Hire a utilities bookkeeper to work with the tribal administrator 'Develop a comprehensive monthly financial report for the utilities 'Obtain a computer for the tribal administrator and provide computer training 'Develop utility ordinances for all the tribally owned utilities There will not be on-site assistance until all or most of the recommendations are met or addressed.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
17 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
38 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.
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
All financial records are still kept manually and to a minimum. The adminstrator does not use a check register for any of the five or so bank accounts and only uses the bank balances from the monthly bank statements to determine the balance. The tribe has to air-freight in fuel to the community at a very high price and sometimes has difficult time ordering because there are not sufficient funds to purchase the fuel. The air freight company will not deliver the fuel unless it is fully paid for.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
Yes 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.
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
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.
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
The tribal administrator still manually enters checks issued into expenditures for each department and does not use check registers for its bank accounts. There are no monthly reconciliations made either.

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
There are still currently no tax issues in this quarter.

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 still uses Tanana Chiefs' Conference, Inc.'s personnel policies and insurance coverage, including workers' compensation coverage. The tribe cannot afford to provide its own insurance and workers' comp coverages.

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.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
Yes 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.
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
There has not been much change from the previous quarter on this issue. The tribe still needs to hire a bookkeeper that is adequately trained, especially with Quickbooks Pro. RUBA staff has recommended to the tribal council to hire a part-time bookkeeper to assist the tribal administrator with the finances so that the tribe can keep better track of its finances.

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
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.
Yes The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
Yes 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 Tribe's water treatment plant still does not have a preventative maintenance plan for it water treatment plant. The tribe listens in on safety teleconferences sponsored by the insurance carrier.