Quarterly Report: 2013, October - December (Q2), 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 was to commence late 2011 but to date to construction has begun.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The utilities experienced a freeze-up to a lift station early/mid November, 2012 and was able to thaw the system. This took approximately eight days in which to thaw. The utility discovered that the heat trace was not plugged in causing the lift station to freeze. Several houses also had their sewer frozen and rock salt was ordered for this and residents were advised to plug in their heat trace. Noatak is scheduled to be awarded SBS funds for upgrades to the Water Treatment Plant, ANTHC put a hold on the project until next spring/summer 2013. The project will improve the plant process by incorporating coagulant and chlorine injection, pressure sand filtration, upgrading backwash gravity sewer piping and installation of turbidimter and chemical injection controller instramentation. This project will also complete repairs and upgrades to the WTP foundation, and may include the installation of new thermosyphons; rainwater diversion measures, and additional insulation to the foundation and waste heat piping. ANTHC has connected 3 of 4 homes to the system, plus a borough duplex and completed the inspection with a punch list provided to plant personnel.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to work with the Utility Manager and Administrator on receiving the council's monthly minutes and financials to be compliant with reports. The utility did file an application for a fuel loan with AEA but did not complete all the necessary paperwork. During this period the Northwest Arctic Borough gave each commuinity in the region supplemental revenue sharing, which the borough would pay directly off of the list provided by the council. RUBA staff suggested that the utility manager request to the administrator/council that these funds be used for that purpose. RUBA staff has not been able to confirm with the Utility Manager whether or not a loan was obtained or supplemental revenues were used. RUBA staff's plans to travel to work with the Utility Manager and if possible attend a council meeting while there.
Essential Indicators:
25 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
20 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.
No 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
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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
N/A Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The utility has had a supplemental payment from the Noatak IRA Council to assist in paying for the freeze-up that the utility had experienced November, 2012. The Noatak IRA fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30 of each year. No budget has been received from 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 uses QuickBooks. They are not on the Lien Watch for Outstanding Liens as of October 2012.

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
The utility uses QuickBooks to accurately calculate, track and report tax liabilities. They are not on the current Lien Watch list.

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
Personnel system has been updated and completed. Both Operators are current with their certification.

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 utilities are regulated by the Native Village of Noatak Council who serve as the utility board. There is a set policy in which delinquent accounts are to be processed. The personnel policy adopted by the council provides for the administrator as the supervisor of the utility manager.

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".
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 employees two operators, one serves as a permanent employee and the other as alternate. Both operators have met their CEU's and are long-term employees. The Utility is current on their CCR registration. The operators report the Pump house daily status. No written inventory nor critical spare parts lists have been provided. The RMW has provided a picture inventory in an effort to obtain funding to replace parts and to have critical spare parts on hand.