Quarterly Report: 2010, April - June (Q4), Stevens Village

Community:
Stevens Village 
Staff:
 
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Native Village of Stevens 
Population:
63  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
8/17/2010 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Stevens Village has a small washateria with three washers, two dryers, two showers, and two bathrooms. The washateria was upgraded in 2002. The water plant provides service to the school and to the health clinic. Residents haul water from a watering point, and use honey buckets and outhouses for sewage disposal. Sewage from the washateria, clinic and school is disposed of in a lagoon. The lagoon is probably filled near capacity and should be discharged. A VSW sanitation planning feasibility study was completed in 2002, but was not approved. The scope of the new feasibility study has been changed several times to include additional alternatives in an effort to try to identify options that are affordable to the community. Stevens Village had planned on constructing a new multi-use facility to include a Denali Commission funded Clinic and a Hygiene Center with public showers and restroom facilities, but may be looking at renovating existing facilities as a more viable option. A design for a new solid waste facility has been completed. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On April 19 - 20, 2010 Fairbanks RUBA staff travelled to Stevens Village to conduct a RUBA management assessment and to meet with the tribal council to discuss the RUBA assessment and utility management issues. RUBA staff met onsite with the tribal administrator and collected available information and data from the administrator and clerk. Deficient essential indicators were found in the areas of utility finances, accounting systems, personnel systems, organizational management, and the operation of the utility. A RUBA assessment report will be completed and presented to Stevens Village for comment. While in Stevens Village, RUBA staff was informed that the scheduled meeting was cancelled because the first chief and second chief were not available for the meeting. RUBA staff discussed utility management concerns with the tribal administrator. A follow-up meeting with the tribal administrator and the Stevens Village accountant was scheduled to be held in Fairbanks. Fairbanks RUBA staff met with Randy Mayo (Stevens Village tribal administrator) and Howard Taylor (Fairbanks based accountant for Stevens Village)in Mr. Taylor's office on April 21, 2010 to discuss concerns regarding the Stevens Village washeteria budget and financial report. RUBA staff has had frequent contact with the tribal administrator during this quarter. The importance of getting the RUBA management assessment completed was stressed by both RUBA staff and the proposed project engineer. The tribal adminsitrator traveled to Fairbanks and met with RUBA at the regional office. RUBA staff will also arrange to meet with the village accountant who is based in Fairbanks.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff completed the RUBA assessment in April and will work with the community to create a plan of action to correct the current issues identified in the RUBA assessment. A meeting that included the VSW engineer from Anchorage occurred on June 28. After discussing RUBA assessment with the tribal council, VSW was able to get some action accomplished. With RUBA assistance a plan has been developed to help the utility meet all the essential indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
18 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
8 of 26
Total Score:
26 of 53

Finances

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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
The utility budget shows the revenue and expenses for the village water utility, but it is not a balanced budget. Expenses for the utility are being subsidized by the electric utility, though the revenue from the electric utility is not enough to balance the budget. Monthly finance reports are prepared by the accountant. These reports do not compare actual revenue and expenses to budgeted amounts, and it is hard at this time to know if the tribal council sees the reports because of a lack of regular meetings. The utility is current on paying the electric bills. The utility has fuel flown in as needed and uses a delivery truck to get it from the airfield to the tank farm. The utility does not receive enough revenue to cover the operating expenses. The utility does not currently have revenues to pay for any repair and replacement costs and the year-to-date revenues and expenditures are not at levels budgeted. The monthly manager's report is prepared, though again, since the utility is not meeting regularly it is hard to determine how accurate and useful it is.

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.
No 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.
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
The Stevens Village tribal council has not adopted collection policy. The utility does send invoices to the only billed water customer which is the school. The school currently pays a flat rate of $1280.00 each month. There is no accounts receivable system in place. The accountant pays bills when they are received, so no bills stack up. The payroll is calculated and paid by the accountant who keeps the records and pays the taxes. The cash receipt system used tracks the washeteria token purchases. and marks down how much is received and for what. The utility does not disburse any cash because it does not have a safe to keep cash on site. The Stevens Village tribal council does not have a purchasing policy.

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
The IRS and State of Alaska, Department of Labor deem Stevens Village Tribal Council compliant at this time.

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.
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.
No 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 utility has a posted a notice of workers compensation insurance policy with AMLJIA that is effective until July 2010. The utility has a personnel policy and a copy of it is located in the Fairbanks RUBA office. The utility does not have any job descriptions that were shown to RUBA staff and the utility does not have any job evaluations that are done regularly and follow the job descriptions. The utility does not have a written hiring process and does not keep employee files. The utility has a 90 day probationary period but does not conduct evaluations of employees. The utility provides training opportunities for employees when needed.

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.
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
No The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure.
No The policy making body meets as required.
N/A The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
Currently there are no adopted regulations or bylaws stating the utility is owned and operated by the village. The Tribal council is not active in policy making. There is no utility policy to enforce, and the only billed entity is the school. The clerk (who does the job of clerk and post master) acts as the utility manager. The trained accountant is located in Fairbanks. RUBA staff has been informed there is a substitute operator who has attended classes, yet needs to complete additional classes to renew old certifications. The village has not adopted the necessary regulations to give it authority to operate the utility, though it has been operated by the village since its completion. The utility has not adopted an organizational chart. The policy making body does not meet on a regular schedule, and is a tribal government so does not need to comply with open meeting act requirements. RUBA staff recommends that the policy making body keep to a planned schedule of meeting dates and times.

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
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.
No The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.
No 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
RUBA staff was informed that a member of the community completes the duties of the water operator. More training is needed and the individual is scheduled to attend the next available training. The utility has a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing facility. The manager does not receive an operation and maintenance report as no operator is working regularly in the utility. The utility does not have a safety manual and does not hold safety meetings for the operators and staff. The utility facilities have not suffered and major problems/outages due to management issues. The utility is currently operating at levels that are proposed, the school has not complained about service and residents have received enough treated water. The operator does not provide status reports because there is no regular operator and no records are being kept of any operator work that is completed. The utility has not distributed a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) for the last year of operation, and the community is on the May 2010 SNC list for a Stage 1 violation. The utility does not maintain either an inventory control list or a critical spare parts list.