RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Kongiganak


Community:

Kongiganak

RUBA:

Yes

Staff:

Ken Berlin

Agreement:

No

DCA Region:

Bethel

Agreement Date:

Region:

Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta

Exp Date:

Govt Type(s):

Traditional Council

Borough:

Unorganized

Assessment Date:

8/18/2011

Population:

427

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

12/4/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

Treated surface water is hauled from the washeteria. Some people use rain water during the summer and ice in the winter for drinking and other uses. Homes are not plumbed and residents use honeybuckets and bunkers which are emptied and hauled off to the lagoon. The community's washeteria/water treatment plant was built and opened in 2001, and includes a 1.5 million gallon water storage tank. Piped water and wastewater service is provided to the school; no other structures are connected to the system. A watering point at the washeteria provides water at .25 per gallon and a half. Electricity is provided by Puvurnaq Power Plant.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

The Kongiganak Traditional Council has not adopted a balanced realistic CY13 budget and does not have current finance reports. QuickBooks Pro was set up with different companies for each bank account under the Kongiganak Traditional Council; this needs to be corrected. RUBA staff will work with the administrative and finance staff and put together a balanced and realistic CY13 budget and get finance reports current. The administrative and finance staff should contact all the ongoing operating grant sources to make sure all the reporting requirements are met. RUBA staff recommended that the new administrator and Kongiganak Traditional Council members attend RUBA's utility management training classes. The administrator and the assistant bookkeeper need more training in QuickBooks Pro, budgeting and financial reports and should participate in the Financial Management for Rural Utilities class when it is available. RUBA requested copies of any certificates held by the water and wastewater operators. RUBA staff will work with the administrative staff on a new water and wastewater ordinance and collection policy. The Kongiganak Traditional Council has gone through another turnover in the administrator position, a new administrator was hired in April 2013. May 23, 2013 The chairman of the Puvurnaq Power Company came into the Bethel office to inquire about the Bulk Fuel Revolving Loan application and requested assistance. He said they just hired a new manager last week and that he might need assistance in filling out the application. Staff directed him to our website and also gave him Ms. Sullivan's phone number. The administrative staff had another turn over in July and a new administrator was hired in August. He needs to get trained. The QuickBooks accounting system still needs to be set up correctly. The new school is hooked up to the water treatment plant and has piped water and wastewater.

 

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.

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:

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:

Kongiganak Traditional Council is a calendar year. The CY13 budget has not been submitted to the Bethel regional office. The last finance report received was in June 2011, but no meeting minutes although staff said finance reports were given to the council members. Current finance reports needed with copies of meeting minutes. Without the finance reports RUBA could not determine if the utility was receiving revenues sufficient to cover operating expense. An updated organizational chart is on file. The Kongiganak Traditional Council does not collect service fees except from the school which is billed quarterly per school year. They submitted a copy of their last billing that was made to the school. Administrator purchased and received 5000 gallons of HF #1 and use Community Revenue Sharing funds to pay for it. More fuel will be ordered to top off the bulk fuel tank. They are planning to use both Community Revenue Sharing and bulk fuel loan to pay for the fuel. Residents purchase prepaid water from the water treatment plant. They are current on all water/wastewater electric bills.

 

Capacity Indicator: Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators:

No

The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.

No

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:

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.

Comment:

Kongiganak Traditional Council has on file a revised ordinance which stated a fifteen dollar service fee. According to the administrator the fee was discontinued because people dispose of their own honeybuckets at the lagoon site. Prepaid water is purchased from the laundromat. The ordinance specifies handling procedures and the designated site for the honeybuckets. The school is billed annually. The accounting system is managed with QuickBooks. Kongiganak Traditional Council submitted a reconciled account listing which contained fund balances for each department.

 

Capacity Indicator: Tax Problems

Essential Indicators:

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.

Comment:

The utility uses the QuickBooks to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities. The Alaska Department of Labor deemed the tribal council in compliance with tax deposits and reports up to June 2013. IRS deemed Kongiganak Traditional Council compliant on June 26, 13. No tax liens were reported on the July-August 2013 Lien Watch.

 

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:

Workers compensation insurance coverage is through Liberty Mutual as of October 1, 2013. The Bethel regional office has a copy of the personnel policy, which includes job descriptions. This personnel policy is currently being updated. All staff are evaluated each year. The utilities director emphasized that the operators are on a performance based evaluation and their hours are based on their workload. Spot checking one personnel file contained no I-9s. The personnel policy contains provisions for an employee probation period which is followed. When training opportunities become available for employees, they are allowed to attend.

 

Capacity Indicator: Organizational Management

Essential Indicators:

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.

No

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:

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.

Comment:

The utility ordinance is on file in the Bethel regional office. Kongiganak Traditional Council has provided training and education certificates for the bookkeeper. The manager was hired in August 2013 and needs training in administration and finance and utility management. Both operators are not certified but are experienced and both are planning to attend classes to get certification. Kongiganak Traditional Council's organizational chart is filed in the Bethel regional office. Meetings are regularly scheduled every month and are open to the public and comply with the open meeting act.

 

Capacity Indicator: Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators:

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:

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.

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.

No

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.

Yes

The utility maintains an inventory control list.

Yes

The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.

Comment:

Both utility operators are not certified, but the main operator was certified in the past; both have experience and are planning to attend classes to get certifications. The file in the Bethel regional office contains Kongiganak Traditional Council's preventative maintenance plan. The administrator did not specify any spot checks for the utility. The utility has SNC violations in SWTR and Stage 1. Inventory control lists and critical spare parts list have been provided to the Bethel regional office.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

Kongiganak Traditional Council has not met all essential indicators. A CY13 budget is needed which lists revenues and expenses for the utility budget. The utility adopt a balanced realistic budget. Monthly financial reports be prepared and submitted to the policy making body and recorded in the meeting minutes. The utility needs to ensure that sufficient revenues are received to cover operation expenses. The manager and assistant bookkeeper need more training in administrative and accounting and QuickBooks. The utility operators need to actively work towards necessary certification.