RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Atmautluak


Community:

Atmautluak

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Eli Jacobson

Agreement:

No

DCA Region:

Bethel

Agreement Date:

Region:

Lower Kuskokwim

Exp Date:

Govt Type(s):

Traditional Council

Borough:

Unorganized

Assessment Date:

9/30/2013

Population:

277

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

10/8/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

Residents haul treated well water, or water from the Pikmiktalik River. Honeybuckets are hauled by residents to wastewater bunkers. None of the residences have plumbing. The school is connected to the water plant. Funds have been requested to conduct a master plan for future infrastructure development, and to construct a new landfill. Atmautluak Joint Utility provides electricity. During the summer of 2012, the community's water treatment plant/washeteria had a new multi-point foundation installed. The original pilings had to be removed because they were no longer stable or level due to tundra permafrost upheavals. Also completed in 2012 was the raising of the gravity flow wastewater main from the washeteria to the lift station to give it a two and a half percent slope. This was done to prevent the main pipeline from freezing in the winter. The main was also secured with screw anchors to keep it from moving or shifting.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

On Wednesday, August 28, Bethel RUBA staff traveled to Atmautluak to conduct a RUBA assessment for Atmautluak Traditional Council. The tribe has a water treatment plant with a fill point and washeteria. The tribe also provides a wastewater removal service. Honeybuckets are dumped into bunkers placed around the community. The bunkers are emptied into the lagoon as needed. RUBA staff met with the administrator, compliance officer, bookkeeper, and water operator for two days to complete the assessment. Bethel staff explained the RUBA assessment, process, and what is needed to gain RUBA compliance. The water operator gave Bethel staff a tour of the water treatment plant. Documentation was gathered from the administrator, and bookkeeper. This documentation pertains to the management of the utility concerning RUBA essential and sustainable indicators in the areas of finance, accounting, taxes, personnel, organizational management, and operational management. On September 30, 2013 the assessment was finalized. The tribe has twenty-one essential indicators remaining to gain RUBA compliance in the areas of Utility Finance, Accounting, Tax Problems, Organizational Management and Operation of the Utility.

 

Capacity Indicator: Finances

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

Comment:

Atmautluak Traditional Council operates on a calendar fiscal year, but has not adopted a FY13 budget. Monthly financial reports have not been prepared. Atmautluak Traditional Council generates its own electricity. However, electrical expenses for the utility cannot be determined. The tribal administrator said the utility has a one-year supply of heating fuel. The tribe does not have a repair and replacement fund established. Year-to-date revenues and expenditures cannot be determined. Monthly manager's reports are given verbally to the council but have not been recorded in the meeting minutes. The council meets the second and fourth Thursday each month.

 

Capacity Indicator: Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators:

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.

No

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.

No

The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent.

Sustainable Indicators:

No

A chart of accounts is used that identifies categories in a reasonable, usable manner.

No

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.

Comment:

Atmautluak Traditional Council has not adopted a utility collection policy. The utility policy is for a piped water wastewater system which the community does not have with the exception of the school. The tribe sends out bills for the wastewater removal service and the washeteria charges per laundry load. The school trades an undetermined amount of heating fuel for the water/wastewater services. However, the tribe does not charge for water received at the community water fill point. Accounts receivable is recorded on ledgers. The ledgers track how much each customer owes. The utility does not have a system for accounts payable, payroll, cash receipts, and cash disbursements. The tribe does not have a chart of accounts. Monthly bank reconciliations are not being completed. The purchasing system requires two signatures. These two signatures can be from the administrator, compliance officer, or any council member.

 

Capacity Indicator: Tax Problems

Essential Indicators:

No

The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.

No

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.

Comment:

On September 10, 2013, the IRS deemed Atmautluak Traditional Council not compliant with federal tax filing and deposit requirements for the first and second quarters of 2013. On June 24, the State Department of Labor communicated that the tribe is current on their Employment Security Contributions account. Atmautluak Traditional Council is not in the Lien Watch dated July-August 2013.

 

Capacity Indicator: Personnel System

Essential Indicators:

Yes

The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.

Sustainable Indicators:

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.

Comment:

Atmautluak Traditional Council's workers compensation insurance is through Alaska National Insurance Company for the period from October 1, 2012 through October 1, 2013. A personnel policy has been adopted and is in use. The utility has written job descriptions for all positions; examples were provided during the assessment. The utility has a written personnel policy that was revised in 2010. The policy covers general provisions, job classifications, recruiting, probationary periods, and performance evaluations. The utility has a written hiring process. Personnel folders do not contain I-9 and letters of acceptance for every employee. The utility has a 90-day probationary period with an evaluation at 90 days. On-the-job training and additional training opportunities are provided as necessary. Staff are encouraged to pursue further training opportunities.

 

Capacity Indicator: Organizational Management

Essential Indicators:

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.

No

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:

No

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.

Comment:

Atmautluak Traditional Council owns the utility and the tribal council is the policy making body. The council meets regularly but is not active in policy making of the utility or enforcement. The tribal administrator was rehired July 25, 2013 and has two previous years experience as the administrator. The administrator performs managerial duties. The bookkeeper was hired June 2010. The utility operator is not adequately trained. The operator has twenty years experience. However, the operator is not on the Alaska Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database. The tribe has not adopted ordinances necessary to give it the authority to operate. The organizational structure is informally known, but an organizational chart has not been adopted. The policy making body meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month, which is open to the public. The tribal administrator announces meetings over the VHF, but does not post meeting notices in three public places in order to meet the Open Meetings Act.

 

Capacity Indicator: Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators:

No

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:

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.

Comment:

The utility operator has twenty years experience. However, the operator is not on the Alaska Certified Water/Wastewater Operator Database. The administrator and compliance officer stated the utility operator will not be sent to training again. The utility does not have a written preventative maintenance plan. The tribal administrator infrequently contacts the operator and does not spot check the facility. The utility does not have a safety manual or hold regular safety meetings. The utility is functioning as intended and no major outages have occurred. The operator does not provide reports to the tribal administrator. A CCR has not been posted. The tribe is not on the SNC list dated July 2013. The utility does not have an inventory control, or critical spare parts list.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

RUBA staff will continue to work with Atmautluak Traditional Council on the remaining indicators.