Quarterly Report: 2015, July - September (Q1), Arctic Village

Community:
Arctic Village 
Staff:
Brendan Smyth  
DCRA Regional Office:
Fairbanks regional office 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
2/16/2011 
Entity:
Arctic Village 
Population:
175 2013 Department of Labor Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
12/3/2013 
Exp Date:
1/2/2016 
Last Updated:
10/7/2014 
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, a 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:
RUBA staff discussed a problem with the fuel loan program staff in Anchorage and learned that the village has been continuing to build a debt with a fuel provider. RUBA staff changed multiple essential indicators in the ‘Finance’ section of this report to ‘No’ due to these ongoing issues. The village will need to work with RUBA staff and the fuel loan program manager before these indicators can be reverted back to ‘Yes’.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will work on getting these essential indicators corrected so the project in the village can continue to progress.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
22 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
11 of 26
Total Score:
33 of 52

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.
Yes 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.
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
The village accountant has certain revenues and expenses for the utility listed, though many are left off due to a lack of reporting from the on-site bookkeeper. The utility budget is not realistic because of a large debt currently on the books. Finance reports are given to the council, and the village is current on its water and electric bills. The village currently does not have an adequate fuel supply, and is awaiting assistance from the state’s fuel loan program. The village does not receive sufficient revenue to cover operating costs due to large bills with fuel providers.

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.
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
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 recently changed the way they collect funds for the multiple utilities they operate. The electric company uses the pre-pay AMPY card system to collect revenue regularly. A utility policy needs to be created. The school is the only billed water utility customer. The accountant has an accounts receivable system that accurately tracks customers and reports past due accounts. Payroll is correctly calculated by the village accountant in Fairbanks. The accounts payable system consist entails the village clerk submitting a check request to the accountant, who then makes payment. The village and accountant have developed an adequate cash receipt and disbursement system, as well. The accountants are still organizing the tribe’s finances and creating a reasonable and usable chart of accounts. The accountants have been able to reconcile the bank accounts, and have introduced a purchasing system that requires check requests be sent to Fairbanks after approval 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 required federal and state tax deposits.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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 has a workers’ compensation insurance policy in effect. RUBA staff discussed with village staff the importance of maintaining this policy. The village council also has a draft Personnel Policy that has been reviewed, but is awaiting formal adoption by the village council. RUBA staff will review the meeting minutes when the policy is adopted. The utility does have written job descriptions for all the positions; however, the council needs to adopt a personnel evaluation process and a written hiring process. The utility keeps personnel files in their office that contain each employee’s application, I-9, and letter of acceptance. They do not have a probationary period for new hires. The utility does provide training opportunities to the village employees.

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.
Yes 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.
N/A The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The tribal council passed the necessary by-laws to define who owns and operates the water utility. The tribal council meets regularly and discusses utility issues; however, they do not currently enforce all of their adopted policies. 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 posted in their office. The policy has the necessary rules to give it authority to operate. The tribal council is not subject to the Open Meetings Act.

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
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 has an operator who is fully certified. Village staff informed RUBA staff of plans for the operator to attend future training, as well. The utility recently worked with the Remote Maintenance Worker (RMW) assigned to Arctic Village, and created a project management plan for the village washateria. 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 since 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 the operator reports any issues to the manager as needed. The community has not completed a CCR report. The utility is not on the July 2014 SNC list. RUBA staff suggested they get with the assigned RMW to complete an inventory and critical spare parts list for the utility.