Quarterly Report: 2009, April - June (Q4), Allakaket

Jeremy Johnson  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Allakaket Village 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Most public facilities in Allakaket were severely damaged in the 1994 Koyukuk River flood. Construction of a new washeteria, well and treatment plant, 100,000-gal. water storage tank, sewage lagoon, and force main was completed in 2005 by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). The new washeteria opened to the public in August 2005. The City subsequently sold the old washeteria building and lagoon to the school district. Under an agreement with the City, signed in 2005, the Allakaket Tribal Council manages and operates the new washeteria. No households have plumbing: residents carry treated water from the washeteria, and haul honey buckets or use pit privies. A new landfill and access road have been completed. Allakaket does not currently meet all essential indicators. The utility does not generate sufficient revenues to cover operating expenses: the difference is paid for with funds from the General Fund, but there is no overall budget to confirm the source of such funds. Since opening in August 2005, the new washeteria has been closed for extended periods of time due to various problems such as frozen water transmission lines, frozen sewer lines, leaks in the sewer lines, and problems with the heating system. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium responded to these problems, and has made some changes in the design and operation of the facility. This past summer, ANTHC changed the water collection and storage system to a 'draw and fill' system in an effort to eliminate freeze ups in the water transmission lines: the system has been operating satisfactorily ever since. A proposal to connect the washeteria to the waste heat system at the nearby electric power plant is being considered: if implemented, this change is expected to help significantly reduce operating costs.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The Allakaket City clerk/fuel clerk attended a RUBA sponsored Financial Management for Utility Managers course in Fairbanks during the week of May 11-15. A follow up letter to the city which highlighted the many services RUBA offers was mailed on June 9, 2009; no response has been received. RUBA staff contacted the mayor, via phone and letters, after receiving calls from concerned citizens regarding lack of city functions. A public health nurse also called to report lack of water to the clinic which is city owned. She states that there is a high rate of skin infections in the community. The TCC engineer and RUBA staff have discussed local government/public health/ sanitary water issues in Allakaket and are ready and willing to jointly attend a meeting in the community. There is a lack of initiative at the community level to create change, apathy appears to be systemic. Allakaket has not held elections or passed a budget for three years and has not received State of Alaska revenue sharing payments totaling over $200,000. Letters to the City office and every city council member addressing those needs and offering assistance have not generated a response.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will mail another introduction letter to the city offering assistance and the ability to travel to the community at no cost to them.
Essential Indicators:
6 of 23
Sustainable Indicators:
5 of 27
Total Score:
11 of 50


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.
N/A 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
There has been a little contact from the city during this quarter which was when the clerk attanded a RUBA class in Fairbanks. RUBA staff has spoken with the mayor, and the need to pass a budget in order to receive state revenue sharing has been expressed to her. The FY08, FY09, and FY10 budgets have not been created or passed. RUBA is not supplied with copies of current financial reports.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
N/A The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
N/A 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.
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 only contact was when the clerk attending the RUBA class in Fairbanks. RUBA has not had an invitation to review the city's accounting system and the city did not (were not asked to) prepare and bring accounting document to the class. The utility does not have customers other than laundromat users. As such, the utility does not require a collection policy, does not have customers to bill, and does not track customers and past due accounts.

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
Allakaket Tribal Council is not compliant with either the IRS or State Department of Labor. The IRS and DOL now deem the City of Allakaket compliant at this time, although, it is the tribe who operates the utility.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
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
There has not been little contact from the city this quarter, therefore we do not have confirmation that the Allakaket Tribal Council has a workers compensation policy in effect. In general, the Allakaket Tribal Council has adopted the personnel policies of Tanana Chiefs Conference.

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.
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 Allakaket Tribal Council operates the utility as per a 2005 agreement between the City and the Tribe. The Tribal Council has reportedly expressed interest in transferring ownership of the utility from the City to the Tribe. Allakaket has a utility ordinance, but we do not have confirmation that it has been adopted. The city owns the washateria and clinic but the clinic is rented to TCC. The public health nurse has reported on the decline of the clinic facilities. It was reported to RUBA that TCC is unable to make any changes (provide clean water to the facility) because they rent the clinic from the city. RUBA does not know who the manager or bookkeeper are and can not make any determination on their adequacy. According to a State of Alaska website there are three water operators in Allakaket with current certifications.

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.
No 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.
No 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
Brian Henry, the water plant operator, had a Water Treatment OIT certificate which expired 12-31-08. Harding Sam, backup operator, has a wastewater collection certificate that expires 12-31-2010.