Quarterly Report: 2008, October - December (Q2), Tuluksak

Community:
Tuluksak 
Staff:
Paul Chimiugak  
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:
1/24/2008 
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 less than 7,000 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 traveled to Tuluksak with staff from Village Safe Water (VSW) and Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) to attend a regional school district meeting. The topic of the meeting was which local entity will take responsibility of the washeteria and water treatment plant. Currently the school district employs a water plant operator and pays operating and maintenance expenses. The tribe has been struggling to keep the washeteria side operational while the school takes responsibility for the water treatment operations. RUBA was invited to attend the meeting between the school and tribe and speak to re-negotiating the responsibilities and billing the school for water usage. A RUBA management assessment was completed in August. The Tuluksak Native Community does not meet all essential management assessment indicators at this time. They have requested that RUBA staff return to the community and provide on-site assistance with meeting essential indicators. The VSW engineer, AEA staff, and Yupik School District staff offered to assist RUBA in accommodating Tuluksak as they reorganize and accept the new responsibility of providing water to their residents.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to monitor the monthly financial reports, request a copy of the budget to support the budget ordinance, and request an accounts payable report showing vendors. Staff will assist, if requested, with a utility ordinance that includes a collections policy, and job descriptions.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
19 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
37 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.
Yes Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
No The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
No 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.
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 budget for the washeteria/water treatment plant and sewage haul has been completed,however Bethel RUBA staff has not received a copy to review. They are now sending in the monthly financial reports to the office when requested. The budget is not included in the financial report. The fuel situation is in question at this time, the tribal storage tanks did not pass Coast Guard review and they are a couple of months behind on the fuel loan. They do not meet the criteria of having sufficient fuel or a financial plan to purchase it.

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.
No An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts.
No 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
Collection of sewage haul payments has improved due to the fact that collection is made using Powerstat prepayment cards. The bookkeeper is meticulously recording every payment that is made. An accounts payable report showing who they owe money to was not made available at the time of the assessment. 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, 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 past due taxes are still being paid out of the Anchorage office through a loan from a bank. They are now keeping current with the payroll tax liabilities.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
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 hiring process includes posting the position and when a person is hired, they are hired by the administrator and then approved by the council. They are given a 90 day probationary period. Currently the budget does not show any funds for staff training. They are seeking a training opportunity to get a certified tribal water operator. A school district employee staffs the utility operations and maintenance of the water treatment plant.

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.
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
The council has increased the sewage haul rate to $40. per month for each customer. The council remains active in reviewing rates and making changes when necessary. As a tribal entity, they are not required to meet the Open Meetings Act, however they do try to follow posting and meeting requirements.

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.
No The utility has a safety manual and holds safety meetings.
No Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
No 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
They are still using the school district's maintenance personnel to operate and maintain the treatment plant. The problem the Tribe is running into now is that they are finding that the washeteria revenue can not pay for the electric power usage; it is just barely breaking even to pay for the washeteria attendant. The washeteria/water treatment plant is running up a bill in electricty of a substantial amount. The agreement with the school district needs to be revisited and renegotiated with the expenses in mind. The school district operator gives monthly operation and mantenance reports to the tribal meetings regularly.