Quarterly Report: 2011, July - September (Q1), Platinum

Barbara Higgins  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Platinum Traditional Village 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Nine households and the public school are connected to a piped water system and operate private septic sewage systems. The remaining households, roughly eight, access water from public watering points and dispose of honeybucket waste in private seepage pits. The public water system distributes untreated water. A washeteria constructed in recent years is not in use. A state Village Safe Water Water/Sewer and Solid Waste Feasibility Study was funded in FY 2003 to assess water, sewer and solid waste needs including a water storage tank, new water treatment plant, connections and plumbing, sludge disposal site, and landfill. The water/sewer system renovation project, with assistance from Village Safe Water, is in design and construction was to start summer 2009 but is currently on hold. The City operates the electric utility and landfill. Community fuel storage capacity is as follows: Arviq village corporation. (67,100 gals.); City Power Plant (5,600); Lower Kuskokwim Schools (7,000). 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On February 21, 2006 the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) awarded the Platinum Traditional Council a grant for the design and construction of water and sewer improvements. Funding remains in place to complete project design work; however the traditional council has been told that because of delays in meeting construction funding conditions (RUBA Essential Indicators), construction funds have been reallocated at this time. Platinum can re-apply for construction funds until December 2010 after which time funding will no longer be available. This quarter October-December 2010, RUBA staff made a visit to the community per the request of the native corporation. During this visit local village council elections were being held which in the end were contested and a new election was set for January 2011. RUBA staff attempted contact with the village administrator to work on the deficiencies of the assessment, however the meeting never happened. Village Safe Water (VSW) made a trip to the community and held a community meeting to advise them of the intent to remove funding from the project, unless the RUBA assessment indicators were addressed. The engineer facilitated a teleconference between RUBA staff and the village administrator. RUBA staff indicated a request was being sent regarding the assessment and documents requiring a signature were requested to be returned no later then December 2010. Future dates were set to assist in addressing the assessment. No response has been received from the administrator since the phone call and no attempts by the administrator have been made to address the assessment. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will continue to try and make contact with the village council.
Essential Indicators:
1 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
3 of 27
Total Score:
4 of 54


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.
No 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 council office is non-responsive and does not provide requested information. It is unknown if adequate fuel has been ordered by the village council.

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.
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.
No 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 serves as the utility board and, in prior quarters, enforced the water/wastewater ordinance including a collections policy. RUBA staff continues to request confirmation that customers are being billed, collections are occuring, and that policy enforcement are underway and consistent.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
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.
Tax Problems Comments
On December 22 and 27, 2010 RUBA staff requested from the village council a signed authorization to request federal tax information. As of this reporting date the form has not been received from the village council. The village council is on the October Tax Lien Watch report. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development on 12/22/10 denied tax clearance for the period ending 09/30/10.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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 Division of Worker's Compensation website could not provide verificaton of workers compensation insurance coverage.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained operator or operators.
No 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.
No The policy making body meets as required.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The utility's bookkeeper position remains open and has not been filled.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
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.
No 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.
Yes The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
No 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 a trained water operator who also serves as the tribal administrator. In prior quarters the operator was seeking out an alternate operator to ensure continuity but it is unclear if an alternate has been hired. The utility is not listed on an Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Significant Non-Complier list. The utility reported it submitted the 2009 Consumer Confidence Report.