Quarterly Report: 2011, October - December (Q2), 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:
2/2/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Stevens Village has a small washeteria with three washers, two dryers, two showers, and two bathrooms. The washeteria 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 washeteria, clinic and school is disposed of in a lagoon. 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:
Fairbanks RUBA staff traveled to Stevens Villages November 15-16, 2010. The purpose of the trip was to conduct financial and budget training with the tribal office staff and to review the RUBA assessment essential indicators. The village accountant in Fairbanks had let the community know that the firm will no longer be representing the communities interests. The community will need training to complete a budget and to complete other financial reports. While onsite, RUBA staff created an Excel form that the utility clerk can use to report the income from the washeteria. In addition, RUBA staff gathered documentation regarding meeting agendas, billing practices, and cash receipts. The only customer billed is the school and when the utility clerk provided documentation of current billing, that essential indicator was corrected. RUBA staff contacted the community administrator to discuss the operator status for the utility in the village. RUBA staff received a email from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) concerned with water conditions in the village. RUBA staff brought those concerns up with the administrator and asked for a update on who is doing the operator duties in the village. RUBA staff will travel to Stevens Village in January to assist with installation and training of QuickBooks Pro for the utility accounting system.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
During the upcoming quarter RUBA staff plan on traveling to the community to assist in setting up a QuickBooks file for the utility clerk to better report the finances to the accountant in Fairbanks. Also to correct the remaining issues in the RUBA assessment essential indicators. RUBA staff will continue to discuss these things with the administrator, clerk and accountant.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
17 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
7 of 26
Total Score:
24 of 53

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.
No 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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The revenues are not listed in the budget, there is no budget yet to look at and see if it is realistic or not. Basic monthly finance reports are given to the council, though since no budget is created they can garner only rudimentary information. The utility has, on hand, a years supply of fuel. The utility receives revenue but does not track expenses so it cannot be determined if they cover the operating expenses. Without a budget, the YTD expenditures and revenues can not be seen to be below or equal to those budgeted. No monthly reports have been sent to the RUBA office, RUBA staff will attempt to gather the reports.

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.
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 village has adopted a collection policy and follows it. The only customer they have is the school and RUBA staff has seen the invoice history and knows they are billed regularly. The accounts receivable is in place and tracks the customer and does report past due amounts. The accounts payable system tracks the bills the utility owes. The payroll system is correct and records are kept. A cash receipt system is in place; the clerk uses a receipt book that RUBA staff looked through. The utility does not have a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent. The chart of accounts is located with the accountant in Fairbanks and RUBA staff has observed that it is reasonable and usable as well as the monthly bank reconciliations being done. There is no purchasing system in place for the utility.

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.
No The utility is current on making tax deposits.
No 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 deems the village compliant at this time. The State of Alaska, Department of Labor reports that Stevens Village is not current on making tax deposits.

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.
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 2011. The utility has a personnel policy and a copy of it is located in the Fairbanks RUBA office. The utility does have job descriptions that were shown to RUBA staff though the utility does not have any job evaluations that are done regularly that 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
Yes 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
The village recently adopted the necessary bylaws to give it authority to run the utility, though 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. Stevens Village has a trained bookkeeper 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 adopted the necessary regulations to give it authority to operate the utility. The utility has not adopted an organizational chart. The policy making body does not meet on a regular schedule. 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".
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
RUBA staff was informed that a member of the community conducts 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 any 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. The utility has received a letter from DEC stating they have 120 days from December 15, 2010 to complete required changes to their utility. The changes are outlined in the letter sent to the community. The utility does not maintain either an inventory control list or a critical spare parts list.