RUBA Community Status Report

Community Name: Levelock


Community:

Levelock

RUBA:

No

Staff:

Robert Madeson

Agreement:

No

DCA Region:

Dillingham

Agreement Date:

Region:

Dillingham

Exp Date:

Govt Type(s):

Tribal Council

Borough:

Lake & Peninsula Borough

Assessment Date:

1/14/2013

Population:

84

Active Community:

Yes

Date Updated:

11/1/2013


Community Sanitation Overview:

The Village of Levelock is a progressive community providing a variety of services to 36 households and approximately 84 residents. Those services include wastewater pumping, garbage haul, a public washeteria, electricity and fuel sales. All the homes and infrastructure are serviced by private wells and wastewater systems. The landfill is an unclassified dump and is operated by a solid waste manager. Garbage is collected three times a week. The solid waste management is part of the IGAP grant program. Wastewater is pumped from the wastewater systems and dumped into a trench within a fenced area. Lime is added to the trench. The costs of these services are subsidized by the Lake and Peninsula Borough Community Revenue Sharing funds to help prevent the wastewater systems from becoming a problem for the community. An active survey of the community, listing the age of each home, age of the wastewater system, and if there is a known problem, is maintained at the village office and is said to be current. There are currently 15 homes in need of new wastewater tanks and repairs to leach fields. Water in this area has a high mineral content. In recent years the community has had new infrastructure and housing projects. New wells that were drilled to a depth lower than in past projects. The new water tables appear to be producing a higher than normal mineral content. The village council has an active fuel loan with BIA Re-Supply, Alaska Fuel Loan.

RUBA Status
and Activities
this Quarter:

RUBA staff offered continued assistance in resolving payroll tax issues for quarters September 2010 and December 2012. RUBA staff offered to do a rate study for the village to determine the costs for septic pumping.

 

Capacity Indicator: Finances

Essential Indicators:

Yes

All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.

Yes

The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.

Yes

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.

Yes

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.

Yes

YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.

Yes

YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.

Yes

A monthly manager's report is prepared.

Yes

Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.

Comment:

The Village of Levelock does not have a constructed piped water or wastewater system. However, they do provide a septic pumping service. The tribal council is the governing body and serves as the utility board. The village council adopts a solid waste and septic pumping budget and a line item for Repair and Replacement costs annually. Village council staff uses QuickBooks financial software. The village administrator submits monthly financial reports to the village council. The monthly financial contains year-to-date revenues and year-to-date expenditures compared to annual budgeted amounts. Budget amendments are completed as necessary. Funds for solid waste management and septic pumping are received from the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (IGAP). Money received from the Lake and Peninsula Borough is also used to subsidize village services. The village council has a fuel loan with BIA Re-Supply, Alaska Fuel Loan. Fuel is traditionally received in the spring and topped off by the last barge of the season. Residents purchase gasoline and heating fuel from the village office. A receipt indicating the number of gallons of fuel purchased is presented to the fuel operator, the fuel operator then dispenses the fuel. Electricity is paid for using pay-as-you-go AMPY meters. Total revenue through August 2013 is $241,244 and total expenses are $200,832 leaving a balance of $40,411.

 

Capacity Indicator: Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators:

N/A

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

N/A

The utility bills customers on a regular basis.

N/A

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:

The Village of Levelock operates the septic pumping service. The policies and Procedures Manual addresses billing and collection for fuel and electricity. Residents are not billed for garbage haul or septic pumping. The council voted to provide subsidized services for the residents in the hope of keeping the community clean and dogs and wild animals out of garbage, to control burning, to prevent dumping things that don't belong in the dump, and to keep the community safe and healthy. The septic haul is subsidized to assist in maintaining the wastewater tanks and leach fields; this allows the village to better monitor the wastewater systems and take action before a major problem develops. Residents prepay for fuel at the village office and electricity is paid using pay-as-you-go AMPY meters, resulting in very few problems with delinquent accounts. A chart of accounts is on file. The chart of accounts is well organized and includes accounts for tracking cash, accounts receivable, payroll taxes, loans, fund balances, salary expense, payroll tax expense, equipment, insurance, travel, and utilities. The Levelock Village Council hired Joyce Herr, CPA to manage Levelock's payroll. QuickBooks is used by the CPA to calculate payroll and the village administrator uses QuickBooks to track village finances. A copy of the village's purchasing procedure is on file. When there is a need to purchase parts, supplies and equipment, the specifics of the purchase (part description, brand and model number etc) along with shipping and freight costs are included in the written request submitted to the village administrator. The village administrator then checks to see if the requesting department has funds to cover the purchase. Expenditures over $1000 require village council approval and two signatures are required on the check for payment. Expenditures over $500.00 require village administrator approval and two signatures are required on the check for payment. Expenditures under $500 require village administrator approval. If there are sufficient funds, the village administrator will submit the order.

 

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:

Joyce Hearn, CPA processes payroll for Levelock. RUBA staff obtained a signed release of Authorization to Request Federal tax Information form and has received not received a response from the Internal Revenue Service; however the Federal Tax Information on October 17, 2013 The IRS deemed Levelock non-compliant for quarters 201009 and 201012 Levelock staff and the CPA are calculating payroll taxes for quarters 201009 and 201012 and will be working with the IRS in setting up a payment plan to cover the taxes owed. On September 24, 2013, the State of Alaska Department of Labor Employment Security Division deemed the community compliant for quarter ending June 31, 2013. Currently, Levelock is not listed in Lien Watch: A Review of Small Community Liens.

 

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.

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.

Comment:

The employer's notice was posted as required. According to the Notice of Insurance, workers compensation insurance is provided by Alaska National Insurance. A September 30th check of the Division of Workers Compensation website confirmed that the policy is in effect. The personnel office and procedures manual adopted by the council with assistance from the EPA Indian General Assistance Program is well written and contains sections dealing with safety, probationary periods, and supports training opportunities for all employees and council members. RUBA staff inspected employee files. Employee files contained I9, job application, employee evaluations, and letters of acceptance, or section of council minutes offering employment.

 

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.

Yes

The utility has an adequately trained manager.

Yes

The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.

N/A

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 complies with the Open Meeting Act for all meetings. The village council meets monthly as required by their bylaws and more often if the need arises. Council meetings are advertised and the public is welcome to attend. The village administrator is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the village. The village council has not adopted a utility ordinance; however the village council has adopted and actively adheres to the Policies and Procedure Manual that covers administration, village council members, employees, finance, procurement, property, and a Council Code of Ethics. The organizational chart is displayed in the meeting room and a copy was provided to RUBA staff. The village council is the policy making and policy enforcing entity for the village. The Policies and Procedure Manual covers the rules and regulations managing their utility and village. The village administrator and village council encourages training for all staff. The village administrator is certified in heavy equipment operations and provides training for other heavy equipment operators. The village administrator receives training and actively stays current with computer updates and policies effecting Levelock through the Bristol Bay Native Association and other federal programs.

 

Capacity Indicator: Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators:

N/A

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:

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.

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.

Yes

The operator provides status reports to the manager on a routine basis.

N/A

The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".

N/A

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 village provides septic pumping services and maintains the wastewater trench. The Water and Wastewater Operator Certification and Training regulations, 18 AAC 74.006 require certified operators for public and private wastewater systems that have 100 or more service connections or is used or intended for use by 500 or more individuals per day. The village of Levelock's wastewater system does not meet the requirements of 18 AAC 74.006; therefore, a certified wastewater operator is not required to operate the wastewater system or provide the community with a consumer confidence report. Levelock is not on the Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list. The designated operator for the sewage pumping service maintains direct contact with the administrator before and after service is rendered. The utility needs to update their inventory list and critical spare parts for the wastewater pumper.

RUBA Activities for the Coming Quarter:

RUBA staff will continue to assist with the Village of Levelock on resolving pay roll tax issues for the years 2009-2010, provide training for the village clerk, continue to offer assistance as needed, and continue to assist with a rate study for landfill use and septic pumping.