Quarterly Report: 2006, April - June (Q4), Gulkana

Jimmy Smith  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Gulkana Village 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is currently derived from a well, is treated and stored in a 100,000-gal. tank. Due to iron and magnesium levels, new infiltration galleries on the Gulkana River and water treatment improvements are still under construction. A piped water and sewer system serves most homes. A community septic tank treats wastewater. Individual wells and septic tanks are also used by a number of residences. A Master Plan has been completed to examine connection of all homes to a new system. Permafrost and high water tables are problematic in this region. The PHS constructed a Laundromat in 1976, but it is not functioning -- a washeteria is needed in the community. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On January 25, 2006, Jimmy Smith met with Lamonica Bry Claw of the Gulkana Village Council which operates the Gulkana Village Council Water and Sewer Utility to complete a RUBA Assessment of Management Capacity Indicators. Gulkana Village Council operates the water and sewer utility for the community. The Tribal Administrator provided the documentation supporting the conclusion of this report. Specific documents used in this report are available with the RUBA staff for review. RUBA staff received some documentation during the month of June from the Tribal Administrator based on the RUBA assessement conducted in January 2006.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Assistance will be provided to the community if requested to the RUBA staff. RUBA staff will provide assistance via phone, facsimile and email to the community.
Essential Indicators:
17 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
9 of 22
Total Score:
26 of 48


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.
N/A YTD revenues are at a level equal to or above those budgeted.
N/A YTD expenditures are at a level equal to or below those budgeted.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
N/A Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The Gulkana Village Council should establish and pass a budget for the utility. The Council and Management will have to list all the expenditures and revenues for the operations of the utility for FY 06. Management should be preparing monthly financial reports of the utility so the Village Council knows how the utility is doing financially. The Administrator had indicated the utility is not receiving enough revenue to cover all the utility operating expenditures.

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.
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.
No 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.
No Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts.
No 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 Village Council did pass an Ordinance in 2000 with a collection policy. The ordinance should be reviewed by the Village Council to make sure it meets the Regulatory Commission of Alaska requirements for a small utility. The staff uses QuickBooks Pro 2005 for all the financial activities of the Village Council for the community. Although the staff uses QuickBooks Pro at the time of the RUBA assessment no documentation was provided to the RUBA staff.

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 Administrator signed an IRS tax release on behalf of the Village Council. The IRS tax release was submitted to the IRS office. The IRS office indicated the community is in compliance with all the IRS deposits and filing of IRS reports.

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.
No 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.
No The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
The Village Council does have workers compensation insurance in effect that expires in November 11, 2006. The Administrator indicated the Village Council does have a Personnel Policy, job descriptions, evaluations for employees and other personnel documentations however none were provided to RUBA staff during the RUBA assessment.

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.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The utility staff and organization appear to be stable. The utility staff indicated the utility ordinance needs to be reviewed by Regulatory Commission of Alaska to be in compliance for small utilities.

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
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.
No 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.
Operation of Utility Comments
The operator is currently certified at the OIT level in both collection and treatment of wastewater. A preventative maintenance plan needs to be developed for the utility.