Quarterly Report: 2012, July - September (Q1), Noatak

Georgianna Phillips  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Native Village of Noatak 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is derieved from the Noatak River and is treated. The primary well occasionally runs dry, groundwater wells have been unsuccesful in the area. A piped, recirculating water and sewer distribution systems services 100 homes, the school and businesses in Noatak. However, over half of the homes cannot use the service due to lack of plumbing. These residents haul water and honeybuckets; there is no washeteria. The village has requested funding for water treatment plant upgrades, this has been designed, permitted for construction and partially funded, however additional funding is needed. The project has missed the funding two years in a row and was able to score very high for the FY2012 cycle. In addition a project to complete upgrades to the existing waste heat recovery system has been funded, work is to commence late 2011.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
In May,2011, RUBA staff traveled to Noatak and conducted their assessment. Since then the Utility and Council have worked towards meeting the standards and provided updated materials, financial, minutes and adoption of a resolution to increase user fees to generate enough revenue to cover costs of the utility.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff is continuing to work with the administrator, utility manager and council to keep the community RUBA compliance. In August the Native Village of Noatak successfully completed the necessary requirements to be formally recognized as an Appropriate Village Entity (AVN) for the community, this was finalized on August 24, 2011.
Essential Indicators:
26 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
19 of 26
Total Score:
45 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.
Yes 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.
Yes 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 utility manager provides quarterly reports to the council. The council has increased the rates for water and sewer to cover the expenses of the utility.

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
The Utility Board/Native Village Council meets once a month and recently has increased the reconnect fee from $50 to $100 as recommended. The utility bills customers monthly and tracks customer payments and past due accounts on the invoices issued. The monthly bank reconciliations have been completed. However, the utility manager still needs to complete and close out past bank statements of 2005 through 2009. The Council and manager of the utility have reaffirmed their policy of collection of past due accounts and the manager has been directed to follow the policy. The council did pass a rate increase for water and sewer.

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.
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
The utility utilizes QuickBooks to accurately calculate, track and report tax liabilities. The IRS and Dept. of Labor have deemed the utility compliant.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
N/A 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
Since the community is an IRA their insurance is with Liberty Northwest Insurance Corporation. The policy period is from May 21, 2011 to May 31, 2012. The Personnel Policy has been updated and adopted. Job descriptions for the manager and the water/sewer plant operators are current.

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 Noatak Utilities is a separate entity from the Native Village of Noatak as created by the Noatak Village Council. The utilities are regulated by the Native Village of Noatak Council and they also serve as the utility board. There is a set policy/timeline in which delinquent accounts are to be processed and followed. The maximum bill accumulated is set $225.00. The accounts indicated that five (5) accounts are well past this amount. In the personnel policy adopted by the council the administrator is now the supervisor of the utility manager. The council meets once a month at which time the utility manager gives a report. The utility employees two operators, one serves as a permanent employee and the other as alternate. Both operators have met their CEU's. The utility makes it a practice not to shut off services in the winter and does so in the spring and summer.

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.
No 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.
Yes 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 issued a 'Consumer Confidence Report' and is current with their CCR registration. The operators have a form for reporting the Pump house Daily Status. Confirmation of required manuals for the the treatment plant have been provided as well as location. Utility will then utilize manual to ensure compliance as indicated by the Utility Manager and Council.