Quarterly Report: 2014, January - March (Q3), Tanacross

Community:
Tanacross 
Staff:
Brendan Smyth  
DCRA Regional Office:
Fairbanks regional office 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Native Village of Tanacross 
Population:
137 2013 Department of Labor Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
9/29/2012 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
4/3/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Piped utility services have been available in Tanacross since 1976. Water is treated, stored in a 25,000-gal. tank, and piped to most homes. Some residents have individual wells. A piped wastewater system serve approximately half of the community; individual septic tanks are also used. Funds have been requested to replace seven failing individual septic tanks with a piped central septic system. The landfill is not permitted. Electricity is provided by Alaska Power and Telephone from Tok. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On January 30, RUBA staff drove to the Native Village of Tanacross to work with the village administrator on the remaining sustainable indicator. RUBA staff worked with the administrator how to input the budget in the QuickBooks accounting program so the council could more easily decide when budget amendment are needed. Completing budget amendment as necessary are an sustainable indicator on the RUBA assessment. RUBA staff also gathered copies of the recent tax reports for their file in Fairbanks. Upcoming utility plans for future projects are dependent on funding from the federal government. The village will continue to work with RUBA staff for training and efforts to maintain the assessment status.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Fairbanks RUBA staff will continue to work on the final Sustainable Indicator missing from the Tanacross RUBA assessment.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
25 of 26
Total Score:
51 of 52

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
Yes 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.
Yes The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources) sufficient to cover operating expenses.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Fairbanks RUBA staff confirmed the village has a realistic budget with a line item for the utility. The council receives monthly reports prepared by the administrator. The utility is current in paying the bills and they have fuel on hand, it ordered from a Tok supplier. The utility is receiving revenue that covers operating costs. The utility receives revenues for repair and replacement costs, they have YTD revenues and expenditures at the budgeted levels. The manager prepares a monthly report for the council meetings. The budget amendments are not completed as of yet.

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.
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
Tanacross Tribal Council has a collection policy in place and actively follows the policy; they bill customers regularly for the services they provide. QuickBooks is used to track the accounts receivable for the utility and report past due amounts. The utility has an accounts payable system in place; they pay a bill as soon as they receive it. The utility has an accurate payroll system in place that calculates and records the payments to employees. The utility records money in a receipt book, it gets used mainly for the change used in the washateria. The utility needs to work on creating a cash disbursement system that records how things are spent. The manager does the bank reconciliations every month. The utility has a check request system in place that is being used.

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 Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service have deemed the utility compliant with tax reporting and deposit requirements.

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 utility has a worker's compensation insurance policy in place through Alaska National Insurance Group and is current until October 2013. The utility has a personnel policy in place and has well written job descriptions. The utility has adopted a written evaluation policy process that uses the job description to assist the evaluation. The utility has a written hiring policy and they keep folders for each employee having the necessary documents in it. The tribal administrator informed RUBA staff of a probationary period for employees as well as having job training and evaluations. The utility also provides training opportunities for the staff members.

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.
N/A The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The tribal council is well known as the entity that owns and operates the utility. The council is active and makes policy for the utility. The council also enforces the policy that is made. The manager, bookkeeper, and operators are adequately trained and actively pursue further trainings to keep up to date. The utility has a ordinance in place that gives the community the necessary authority to operate. The utility has an organizational chart that reflects the current structure of the lines of authority in the community. The policy making body meets as required.

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
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 utility operators have their certifications, which expire in 2014. The utility has a preventative maintenance plan in place. The manager (also one of the utility operators) gets reports on the utility operations and performs spot checks on the important pieces of equipment. The utility has safety manuals and holds safety meetings. The utility has not suffered any major outage due to lack of management. The utility currently operates at level that is satisfactory. The manager is also an operator; any issues that may arise are immediately known and reported. The utility has issued a CCR report this year. The utility is not on the Significant Non-Compliance list as of January 2014. The utility has a critical and inventory list.