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

Community:
Tuluksak 
Staff:
Hazel Keezer  
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:
5/8/2009 
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 12,000 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 contacted the contracted Tuluksak finance director to discuss a one-year letter warning from the Village Safe Water program. The community has a deadline to demonstrate financial capacity, which was found to be deficient in the RUBA management assessment. Correction of the problem is required as a condition of the cosntruction grant for a sanitation project. Failure to make the necessary changes to management will mean loss of construction funds and the community will have to begin the funding application process again. Errors in financial reporting were discussed and the financial director agreed to make the changes. Monthly finance reports would be prepared and submitted to RUBA staff for review. Upon receiving the first finance report, it was noted that expenditures were higher than revenues. When contacted, the finance director stated she had entered a land lease amount in the wrong category. She explained that revenues from the lease and gaming subsidize the water utilities. RUBA shared information with local staff regarding the RUBA QuickBooks Pro contractor who operates a hot line for accounting issues. Tuluksak staff may call the hot line with questions and the contractor can offer assistance via remote web site. The contractor may also provide assistance via email, telephone, or thumb drives. As a last option, the contractor may travel to the community for a three day on-site visit to work directly with the staff. RUBA also contacted the administrator to see if the Tuluksak Native Communtity were providing the required monthly water samples as agreed to with Village Safe Water. Confirmation of the reporting was also made with VSW.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff is available to provide assistance with any management capacity indicators that are not being met.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
21 of 27
Total Score:
48 of 54

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
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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Tuluksak's Native Community completed a budget and provided explantion that an expenditure in the water plant was covered by revenues recieved from a land lease. RUBA was provided copies of February and March 2009 finance reports. Tuluksak contracts with a Certified Public Account for accounting practices. She made amendments to the budget to show that Tuluksak had requested additional funding later in the year to pay for an existing loan. A written manager's monthly report was not provided.

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
A billing system is set up with individual household accounts. The utility had sent out a letter in the previous quarter advising the consumers that if they did not pay their bill, money would be taken out from the electric pre-paid power stat cards. All accounting and billing is done with QuickBooks Pro. 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, and 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
The IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service provided updated release of information on April 13, 2009. The IRS has deemed the Tuluksak Native Community compliant for filing and making tax deposits. The Department of Labor was contacted and the utility is current with all ESC 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.
No 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
Tuluksak has workers compensation insurance coverage through Umialik Insurance Co. effective 5/08 to 5/09. The tribe provided a copy of the personnel policy and procedures manual with job descriptions. Tribal members that are residents are considered for first employment preference. There is a formal written hiring process and a 90 day probationary period. There were no personnel folders to view. The utility provides training to its employees when funds are available.

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 sewer 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. An ordinance authorizing the implementation of a sewage haul collection fee was adopted on June 20, 2006. The tribal administrator worked with a federal grant program before taking on the position in January of 2008. The bookkeeper is proficient in QuickBooks. The City has three operators with certifications for water treatment Operator in Training (OIT) and water distribution OIT. The lead operator also has boiler maintenance training.

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".
No 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 is on the Significant Non-Complier list. The violations were discussed at the special meeting to the council from Village Safe Water. The utility will need to complete monthly testing for twelve months to be removed from the SNC list. A copy of the preventive maintenance plan was provided. Verbal accounts of the operation are given to the manager on a day-to-day basis. If an emergency arises, the administrator is contacted immediately. A copy of the CCR was completed in June of 2008. The water operator does not have an inventory control list or a critical spare parts list.