Quarterly Report: 2011, January - March (Q3), Arctic Village

Community:
Arctic Village 
Staff:
 
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Arctic Village 
Population:
147  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/4/2011 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is drawn from the Chandalar River, treated, and hauled from the washeteria. The village provides water to two school tanks. The clinic staff hauls their own water. Honeybuckets are disposed of by residents or outhouses are used. Feasibility studies are underway to examine alternatives for a safer water source, washeteria upgrades and new clinic and landfill relocation. The washeteria is the only facility with running water and uses a small solar power system to provide some electricity. The washeteria consists of three washers, three dryers, two bathrooms with flush toilets, and a sink. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Fairbanks RUBA staff traveled to Arctic Village on February 14 to conduct a RUBA management assessment. The community requested the assessment in preparation for future water plant improvements. RUBA staff worked with the tribal administrator to complete the assessment and identified several areas that will need improvements. RUBA staff also participated in the tribal council meeting and presented the assessment process and the prelimianry findings of the assessment. RUBA staff discussed the work plan that RUBA and the tribal administrator had drafted to address the deficient management indicators. RUBA staff and the tribal adminsitrator agree that all essential indicators will be met by summer if both parties work together and follow the plan. The community has assigned the accounting responsibilities to an accounting firm located in Fairbanks. Upon return to Fairbanks, RUBA staff met with Yukon Accounting to discuss the assessment indicators that are a responsibility assigned the accounting firm. RUBA staff will continue to work with the individuals involved to make changes to the essential indicators. Construction funding for sanitation projects is dependent upon the community meeting all essential management indicators. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to work with the tribal council employees to change the essential indicators no's to yes. RUBA staff will also work with the accountant to correct the necessary financial issues. The community is close to adopting a workers compensation insurance, only a signature from the first chief is needed. RUBA staff and tribal council staff will continue to work together to correct essential indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
13 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
11 of 27
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.
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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Currently the utility does not have a budget in place, the village uses an accounting firm in Fairbanks and the firm does not have enough financial information to create a budget. Hence the budget is not balanced at the moment. They will start submitting monthly financial reports to the tribal council, as of now they have not been sending any. The utility does pay the water/wastewater electric bills for the washeteria. The utility has on hand a year's supply of fuel which is delivered by air. At this time it is unknown if the utility receives revenue to cover their operating costs due to a lack of accurate information. The utility does not receive revenue to cover their Repair and Replacement costs. The YTD revenues and expenditures are not level or equal to those budgeted since the accountant has yet to create a budget. Monthly manager reports are not done though the manager stated she would work on preparing written reports for each meeting. Budget amendments have not yet been completed yet; the tribal council and administrator will continue to work with RUBA staff to complete the amendments.

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.
No An accounts payable system is in place.
Yes The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
No 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
No 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
The utility currently does not have a collection policy; they are working on adopting a set of policies for their utility and village. The utility does bill the utility customers though they do not currently have an accounts receivable or accounts payable system. The payroll system is correctly calculated by the village accountant in Fairbanks. There is no cash receipt system though a cash disbursement system is currently being used by the operator. There is no chart of accounts in place yet since the accountants are still organizing the tribe's finances. The accountants have been able to reconcile the bank accounts and have introduced a purchasing system that requires check requests be sent to Fairbanks and approved by the council.

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 utility accurately calculates, tracks, and reports payroll liabilities. They are current on their filing of federal and state tax reports. The utility is current in making federal and state tax deposits. The IRS and State of Alaska Department of Labor deem the community compliant at this time.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
Yes 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 does not have a workers compensation insurance and RUBA staff has made it known this is a major thing that needs to be rectified. The utility does not have a Personnel Policy but will work with RUBA staff to adopt a policy the council approves. The utility does have written job descriptions for all the positions. The tribal council needs to adopt a personnel evaluation process and a written hiring process. The utility keeps personnel files in their office, but they do not have a probationary period for new hires. With proper policies, the hiring and firing of employees is difficult. The utility does provide training opportunities to the village employees.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
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.
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.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The utility needs to pass a bylaw stating they own and operate the water utility. A good sign is that the tribal council meets regularly and does talk about the utility issues, however they do not currently have a policy to enforce. The manager, bookkeeper, and operator are all adequately trained. The tribal council needs to adopt the necessary rules and regulation to have the authority to operate. The utility has adopted an organizational chart that is posted in their office. The policy making body meets regularly; they are a tribe and not a city they do not have to follow the open meetings act.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
No 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.
Yes 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
The utility operator has an operator who is currently certified and informed RUBA staff of plans to attend future training. The utility does not have a preventative maintenance plan in place, RUBA staff and the operator will coordinate with the Remote Maintenance Worker (RMW) to talk about setting up a plan. The manager does not receive regular reports from the operator. They also do not have a safety manual or hold safety meetings. The utility had one major breakdown last year but have currently hired a new operator and released the old operator who was responsible for the breakdown. The utility operates at the necessary level of service, and though they don't have a schedule the operator does report any issues to the manager just not on a routine basis. The community had not completed a CCR report that RUBA staff was shown; they remain off the SNC list. RUBA staff suggested they get with their RMW to complete an inventory and critical spare parts list for the utility.