Quarterly Report: 2014, January - March (Q3), Venetie

Brendan Smyth  
DCRA Regional Office:
Fairbanks regional office 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Village of Venetie-INACTIVE 
197 2013 Department of Labor Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derived from a well near the Chandalar River, then treated and stored in a tank. The existing well has an interim permit pending determination of whether it is to be classified as groundwater or ground water under the direct influence of surface water (GWUDISW). A circulating system and septic tank system constructed in 1980 failed within two years of construction. The water transmission line froze last year, and the utility is still using 'fire hoses' on a portion of its water transmission line, until funding is available for a more permanent solution. Currently six homes and the health clinic are on a flush/haul system. A washeteria constructed in the early 1990's has 6 washers and six dryers, plus shower facilities. Electricity is provided by Venetie Village Electric. The washeteria also uses a small solar power system to provide some electricity. Construction of a new lagoon was completed in 2005, and it has been operating satisfactorily. There are plans for construction of a haul garage and for installation of 15 more water/wastewater haul services. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On January 13, Fairbanks RUBA staff traveled to the Native Village of Venetie to work with the village administrator and utility manager on the essential indicators of the utility‚Äôs RUBA Assessment of Management Capacity Indicators. RUBA staff was able to confirm the village bills customers and observe the cash receipt system the utility manager uses. The village does not distribute cash, when they receive cash it is stored in a secure location and sent to Fairbanks to village accountant. RUBA staff also met with and discussed the new health clinic with the first chief. RUBA staff confirmed that the council has been discussing the water utility (charging for the watering point) and utility service to the upcoming new health clinic. Further, RUBA staff worked with the utility manager to research acquiring a credit card machine for the village office. RUBA staff and the manager discussed the pros and cons of a credit card machine. RUBA staff suggested a poll of the village customers to see who would use the machine. RUBA staff also discussed with the clerk and administrator upcoming trainings with TCC and has ideas to discuss with the coordinator. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will travel to the village during the spring to work on improving the Essential Indicators of the RUBA assessement.
Essential Indicators:
15 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
15 of 27
Total Score:
30 of 53


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.
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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The Venetie Village Council does not currently have a utility budget, or have a balanced budget for the community. No monthly financial reports have been submitted to the council. The council is current with the utility electric bills and they have fuel supplies to cover the usage of the utilities. The village flies in fuel from Fairbanks monthly and are in good standing financially with the carrier. The utility has recently improved their collections, however without monthly financial reports; there is no way to ensure revenue sufficiently covers the operating expenses. The utility receives subsidy funds from their electric utility enterprise to subsidize operating costs for the water utility. No repair and replacement costs are currently being collected. The YTD revenues and expenses are unknown due to a lack of budget and monthly financial reports. The manager report is provided verbally at each council meeting.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
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.
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.
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 does not have a written collection policy; the system for the electric utility is an AMPY system which requires the customer to pre- pay for their electricity. The electric utility currently subsidizes the water utility. The accounts receivable is available and tracks customers payments when they charge the AMPY card. They village uses Yukon Accounting in Fairbanks for their accounting services. The company tracks the accounts payables and also calculates the payroll. The utility needs to keep receipts and create a system that tracks cash disbursement. The utility does not have a chart of accounts. Yukon Accounting does the monthly bank reconciliations for the utility bank account. Yukon Accounting also has a purchasing system in place. RUBA staff observed the process of requesting funds and receiving funds from the village and from the accountant.

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 village is current with tax reporting.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
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.
Personnel System Comments
The utility has a posted workers compensation policy valid until October 2013, which was verified online. The village has a personnel policy; however they update the written job descriptions and evaluation procedures. The village has a written hiring policy. Personnel folders are kept on employee that contains an I-9, job application and letter of acceptance. The village has a probationary period of 90 days, however the village should consider upgrading the policy regarding the probationary period. The village also provides adequate training opportunities to employees as funds are available.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
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.
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
No 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 entity that owns the utility is known and the proper authorization is posted on the wall in the village office. The council has been inactive in making policy for the utility and does not enforce what policy they have, since the AMPY electric system ensures the residents charge there card it is a self regulating collection system. The manager, bookkeeper, and operator are trained and the utility has the correct authorization to operate. The village complies with the open meetings act as required.

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.
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 operator holds the proper certification to operate the plant. There is no preventative maintenance plan on file or available for viewing. Due to the construction planned this summer season, a trained engineer will be on-site to create one. The manger receives verbal O and M reports from the operator. The utility does not have a safety manual or hold safety meetings. The utility has not suffered any major problems due to management issues; they are operating at levels proposed. The CCR was completed for the last. The village is not on the October 2013 SNC list. No critical spare parts list or a inventory control list was available for viewing.