Quarterly Report: 2010, January - March (Q3), Ugashik

Barbara Higgins  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Ugashik Village 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Ugashik has no public water, sewer or electric services. All homes have individual wells. Most residents use a septic system; a sewage pumper is available. Electricity is provided by individual generators. There are no state operated schools located in the community. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
The indicator report was completed by the Rural Utility Business Advisor Program (RUBA) as a request for assistance by Ugashik Traditional Village on June 3, 2009. The community is considering various projects that will need assistance, i.e. sanitation projects, an electrical grid, landfill, and harbor and dock. RUBA staff will continue to provide assistance as the community works on various projects toward a goal of establishing a utility. RUBA staff assisted the coucil with issues regarding within the community. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The fact that Ugashik Traditional Village does not have an operating community water system but does presently have a washeteria offers a great opportunity to demonstrate managerial capacity of a small utility. By implementing the above recommendations, the Ugashik Traditional Village will put itself into position to better meet unanticipated financial costs. Constant follow through of procedures and open communication between RUBA staff and village staff will help to satisfy deficient indicators and create a successful and sustainable utility for the community. RUBA staff will provide assistance to the village staff upon their request in correcting RUBA indicators.
Essential Indicators:
14 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
17 of 27
Total Score:
31 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.
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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
While there is an overall operating budget, Ugashik Traditional Village does not have an operating budget for a utility. They do not currently have a utility established, however, Ugashik Traditional Village does have a washeteria that is being operated. The washeteria is open and is monitored only for the small amount of money that is deposited for use of the equipment. There is no documentation showing the monies collected or the operating expenses from the washeteria. RUBA staff recommends that the washeteria be operated as a utility with a separate budget and accounting records. A monthly financial statement is not prepared because accounting and billing systems have not been set up. When these systems are in place, the finance officer will develop a report. Without a financial report, it is unclear whether sufficient revenues are being collected or whether revenues and expenditures can be tracked with the budget. Electricity is supplied to the community building by a generator. Each home owns a generator with a thousand gallon fuel tank and they generate their own electricity. Fuel is purchased by each resident making an order for the amount they need for their household. Currently, the community has four one-thousand gallon tanks for the community center. Any additional fuel is purchased from Pilot Point. The fuel is used to operate the generator for the washeteria and community building. The trash is handled individually by each resident, and there is no clear procedure of how the landfill is maintained. Because the washeteria is not setup as a utility, operating expenses and revenues collected are not accounted for separately. Until a decision is made to operate the washeteria as an enterprise with a budget and financial reports, operating costs will be unknown and effective management will be difficult.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No The utility bills customers on a regular basis.
No 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.
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
Currently, there is no collection policy available and there is no billing of any customers for any services. Each resident has their own well and uses individual generators for electricity. Each resident pays for their fuel directly from the vendor. The total costs of services for the community building are paid out of the general fund account. It will be necessary to develop a collections policy for the washeteria and the manager stated that a billing system can be established. A system has been developed to assist in maintaining an accounting system for payroll, budgets, billings, and chart of accounts. The manager stated that there will be no charges for a utility until a utility ordinance is adopted. The finance officer stated there is a chart of accounts but it was not available at the time of the assessment. A general ledger was provided of expenses and deposits and records incoming money and cash disbursement. Reconciliation of the general account is completed on a monthly basis. There is a purchasing system that requires approval prior to purchase, and the approval process compares proposed purchases to budgeted amounts. The finance office provided policy and procedures to document the purchasing system.

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.
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
The Taxpayer Advocate deemed Ugashik Traditional Village compliant with fed tax requirements on 04/02/10. On 03/23/10 the Alaska Department of Labor confirmed the city is meeting Alaska ESC tax obligations for the quarter ending 12/31/09.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
The utility has a worker's compensation policy provided by American International Group for the period 06/15/09-06/15/10. Division of Worker's Compensation verifed 01/04/10 policy is in effect. There are currently only paid positions within the office/administrative staff in Anchorage. There is a draft personnel policy available which has not been formally adopted but is being used as guidelines for a personnel system. The personnel system encompasses all required documentation, i.e. I-9, job descriptions, and evaluations are developed and on file. There is a 90-day probation period for all employees. The administrative assistant has personnel folders set up in a locked filing cabinet with all the required documentation. Overall, their day-to-day policies and procedures are following the guidelines outlined in the draft copy.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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
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
There is no ordinance documenting who owns the utility or who will operate the utility. The administrative assistant stated there is a binder with ordinances, but it has not been located since the restructure of administrative offices. The policy making body is making decisions concerning the village operations and written minutes are provided. A well qualified manager was just recently hired. He is in the process of reviewing office operations to get a better idea on how compliant the office is. It could not be documented that the utility has an adequately trained operator. The policy making body meets when necessary for business operations since a utility has yet to be established. The utility is not required to comply with the Open Meetings Act for all meetings. They post the notice on the village website and also it is posted at the community center in Ugashik. The website keeps those members at large informed of community operations.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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
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.
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
The utility does not have a preventative maintenance plan developed for the washeteria. Currently, there is no qualified operator to perform maintenance for the washeteria. The EPA Tribal Coordinator collects funds at the washeteria but does not monitor maintenance. If there are any problems, they are noted and reported to the manager. The utility is not required to have a certified operator(s). A safety manual specific to the community's washeteria sould be created and safety meetings held. RUBA recommends that the safety meeting or participation in a safety program be documented. After discussion with Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) and due to the use of individual wells, a CCR is not required. However, the Ugashik Traditional Village will be required to submit water samples once the ice machine is in operation. Per ADEC this is a requirement under food regulations and not required for the RUBA assessment. The utility is not listed on the Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list and does not meet the requirements to be considered for the SNC List. There were no lists for inventory and critical spare parts.