Quarterly Report: 2013, July - September (Q1), Chalkyitsik

Jeffrey Congdon  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Chalkyitsik Village 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The Chalkyitsik village council owns and operates the centralwatering point and washateria. The Village Council is the policy-making body for the utility. Residents haul water from the watering point and use honeybuckets or outhouses for sewage disposal. The utility provides piped water service to the school. A utility master plan was completed to study improvements needed to provide a community system. Chalkyitsik has been funded by Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) for $799,690 for water treatment improvements, connecting the school and ten homes on the west side to piped water and sewer, and a community watering point. The utility has also been awarded a DEC/VSW grant of $192,400 for Phase 2, and a USDA/RD grant for Phase 3 in the amount of $405,700. Construction on these projects is complete. There is a current project to construct a community health clinic. A water and sewer masterplan is in the works. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff assisted WHPacific with a Solid Waste Business Plan for Chalkyitsik. Chalkyitsik does not currently have a RUBA dependent project. The community is updating their sanitation masterplan. RUBA staff has requested a new RUBA assessment for Chalkyitsik. RUBA staff requested updated financial information for the quarterly RUBA update. RUBA staff is scheduling a trip to Chalkyitsik for October or early November 2012. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue planning and arranging a trip to Chalkyitsik early this quarter, following an October 8 phone call to set up travel schedules and times.
Essential Indicators:
18 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
17 of 26
Total Score:
35 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.
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
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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
On April 27, 2012 Fairbanks RUBA staff met with Chalkyitsik's accountant at the accountant's office in Fairbanks and worked through Chalkyitsik's finances. RUBA staff was presented with a balance sheet and a profit and loss budget to actual that Chalkyitsik Village Council uses for their budget. RUBA staff has not been presented a copy of a council adopted budget. The utility maintains a balance sheet for the whole organization, not for the water utility or electric utility specifically. Monthly financial reports had not been prepared for the past 9 months, however they are now being prepared and submitted to the council. The utility is current with paying electrical bills. The utility has a financial plan to purchase an adequate fuel supply for the year, and currently has the funds to do so. Fuel is flown in on an as needed basis to Chalkyitsik. The utility currently through billing the school district (the only paying customer) and by subsidizing the washeteria via general funds is receiving revenues sufficient to cover operating costs.

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
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 school is the water utility's only billed customer. A service agreement between the tribe and school exists which outlines the rights, responsibilities, and rates. The school pays monthly, 12 months per year. A copy of the bill is on file in Fairbanks. No other customers are subject to collections because all utility services are either prepaid or paid for at the time of service. Accounts receivable are tracked for the electric utility. The school is not part of the accounts receivable system. Chalkyitsik does not use an accounts payable system; expenses are entered when bills are paid. QuickBooks is utilized for the payroll system. The cash receipt system is a combination of manual and computer reporting. As customers prepay for electricity or buy washateria tokens, the tribal administrator receives the money and writes a receipt, a copy of which is permanently retained in the wire bound receipt book. The bookkeeper uses the receipt book to accurately post the amounts to the electricity or washateria income accounts. Expenses for the water utility are disbursed from the utility checking account and a description of what the money was spent on is provided. Before checks are written, a check request is submitted, the administrator reviews the request and the bookkeeper confirms that funds are available. The crucial step that is missing is that funds are not verified in the budget. The chart of accounts is very inclusive. Monthly bank reconciliations are completed. The tribal council has a purchasing policy as part of its Finance Policy and Procedures Manual (a copy is on file in the Fairbanks office).

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.
Yes 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
Chalkyitsik Village Council, as of June 20, 2012, is current with the IRS, and is current with State of Alaska Department of Labor through 6/1/2012, and is not on any lien lists.

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.
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
as of June 30, 2012 Chalkyitsik Village Council has Worker's Compensation insurance. Their policy with Alaska National Insurance Co. is current. The village has a personnel policy which is adequate; the policy outlines the hiring process and describes the probationary period. Job descriptions exist for the utility positions. Formal written evaluations are not done, as verbally told to RUBA staff, and no evaluations were noticed in employee files. Letters of reprimand, or warning, are provided to employees and corrective performance meetings between employee and the village council are done (as documented by letters between the tribal administrator and employees but which RUBA staff did not take copies). The personnel policy and procedures manual outlines the hiring process starting with the recruitment notice, selection, and even an interview summary sheet. Personnel files contain the necessary documentation of I-9, application, and letter of acceptance. On the job training occurs during the 90 day probationary period.

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.
Yes The policy making body enforces utility policy.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
No 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.
N/A The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
Tribal bylaws and a signed ordinance stating that the tribe has the power to operate the utility are in effect, RUBA has copies of these documents in the Fairbanks office. Tribal ordinances granting the tribal council authority for the operation of the utilities are in place and signed by the village council. The tribal council works closely with an accounting firm based in Fairbanks, they have recently hired a bookkeeper who will take over day to day accounting allowing the fairbanks based firm to revert to quarterly consultations and visitations. The tribal council is the policy making body for the utility. The policy making body enforces the policies in place. The utility operator is trained and has been on the job for some time, The water utility operator has a level one water treatment certification. The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the power structure of the utility. The policy making body has been meeting as required. The community is not a municipality so is not required to follow the open meetings act.

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.
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".
No 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 operator, Larry Henry, received a Water Treatment 1 certificate on April 8 2011. The utility has a preventative maintenance plan, as part of the larger operations and maintenance manual. Willie Salmon is currently, informally, acting as the utility manager. He receives verbal updates from the water operator. Mr. Salmon does make routine checks on the facility in addition to periodically working in the utility. Mr. Henry, the operator, provides a list of daily activities and notes to the administrator when he submits his time sheet. The list identifies work completed and operations issues. The administrator was unsure if a safety manual existed but stated that safety meetings between the tribal council and the employee to discuss drinking issues occur. The utility has been operating at the proposed levels for the community. The utility provides reports to the council monthly during the council meetings. The most recent CCR is from 2007. Water operator, Larry Henry, was able to provide a hand written list of parts and supplies to RUBA. An email request to the ANTHC engineer asking for assistance in obtaining a formal critical spare parts list and a formal inventory control list specific to this utility, has not been returned. Chalkyitsik is on the July 2012 Significant Non-Complier list for high DBP's(TTHM/HAAS). The short term interim approval to operate has expired, ANTHC engineer needs to provide information to ensure system can meet DBP levels for 1 year prior to final approval to operate can be granted.