Quarterly Report: 2008, October - December (Q2), Goodnews Bay

Goodnews Bay 
Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Goodnews Bay 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The Native Village of Goodnews Bay, under joint management by the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation Rural Utility Cooperative, operates a washeteria central watering point, provides for honeybucket haul, and has a sewage lagoon. The tribe, the policy making body for the utility, assumed water/sewer utility management from a community utilty board in August 2005. Currently, treated well water is hauled from the watering point at the washeteria/clinic facility. Most homes are currently not plumbed. A piped water and gravity sewer system with plumbing for 70 + homes is under construction. The project funding is expected to plumb homes including installation of fixtures. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Dillingham Regional Office RUBA staff traveled to Goodnews Bay October 15-17, 2007 at the request of the mayor to assist the city clerk with bookkeeping, payroll, and gaming reporting. The city clerk has prior bookkeeping experience but has been struggling to cover duties for the city administrator who is presently on leave. RUBA helped complete a prior quarter payroll correction and assemble documentation for the state Department of Revenue Tax Division. In recent months the Tax Division identified various gaming law violations and requires a comprehensive response from the city by November 1, 2007. RUBA helped staff initiate telephone contact with Department of Revenue staff and will continue providing recommendations and support upon request. RUBA also met with the tribal administrator to request an overview of water-sewer utility management. The tribe is finding success managing the utility jointly with the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Rural Utility Cooperative based in Bethel. The community's water-sewer project, led by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, is still underway. Tribal officials believe the project will be completed near spring 2008. RUBA encouraged the tribal administrator to engage in a joint planning effort with the city since both are seeking solid waste and other infrastructure improvements. The water/sewer utility is jointly managed by the Native Village of Goodnews Bay and the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation Rural Utility Cooperative (YKHC RUC). In prior quarters the utility met RUBA Essential indicators. Presently, RUBA is awaiting confirmation of various reports and management information to verify Essential indicators continue to be satisifed. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) is the lead agency on the sanitation project and is presently finalizing project construction including performing installation of plumbing into private residences. A sanitation business plan, a sanitation grant condition being developed by a consultant with direction from ANTHC is nearing completion. In recent quarters RUBA contributed comments on a draft business plan with a focus on affordability and sustainability. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will maintain contact with the water/sewer utility, YKHC RUC, and Native Village of Goodnews Bay as they strive to maintain compliance with grant conditions including the RUBA Assessment of Management Capacity Indicators.
Essential Indicators:
23 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
27 of 27
Total Score:
50 of 53


Essential Indicators
Answer Question
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.
No The utility is receiving revenues (user fees or other sources) sufficient to cover operating expenses.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
Finances Comments
The current RUC utility budget is balanced and realistic. RUC staff produce monthly financial reports presenting year-to-date activity. RUBA requested a current financial report and awaits receipt for confirmation of reporting and revenues. Prior quarter sater/sewer utility collections did not appear strong but were sufficient to cover operating expenditures with support from RUC grant revenue.

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
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.
Accounting Systems Comments
Utility billing continues through services provided by ANTHC. RUC operates under a standard water/sewer ordinance that includes a collections policy. RUC maintains a workers compensation policy and uses computerized accounting to monitor and track finances.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
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
RUBA awaits written permission from RUC to confirm compliance with federal tax obligations.

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.
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.
Personnel System Comments
Workers compensation insurance coverage is current. RUC abides by a comprehensive personnel policy.

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
RUC oversees water-sewer utility management with the village council and actively enforces utility policy. The water operator is trained. A vacant alternate water operator position is reportedly still being recruited.

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
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.
Yes The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The primary water operator possesses required certification. The operator utilizes a preventative maintenance plan and provides reports to the utility manager. The utility is not presently listed on the SNC list having resolved prior quarter violations.