Quarterly Report: 2009, October - December (Q2), Circle

Leroy Seppilu  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Circle Native Community 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Most homes haul treated well water from the washeteria/fire station or the school. Outhouses and honeybuckets are used for sewage disposal. All homes lack plumbing facilities. A feasibility study and master plan is underway to examine infrastructure alternatives. The landfill is located at mi. 156.5 Steese Hwy. Electricity is provided by Circle Electric Inc. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Fairbanks RUBA made contacts with the Circle Traditional Council members and the 1st chief several times to discuss hiring of tribal administrator. The position has been vacant for at least a year. RUBA made several attempts to contact the council to see if the position was being filled. There were three applicants at the end of December 2008. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Fairbanks RUBA staff is still having difficulty making contact with the 1st chief and the acting tribal adminstrator. RUBA staff was hoping to travel to the community at least two more times to assist the tribe meet the essential and sustainable indicators during this quarter. The tribe has a $2.6m sanitation project on hold
Essential Indicators:
14 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
13 of 26
Total Score:
27 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.
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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The Tanana Chiefs' Conference, Inc. (TCC) still buys fuel oil and pay the electricity for the tribally-owned washeteria. Technically, the washeteria is still operating in red. RUBA staff has made some financial recommendations to have the washeteria operate at break-even or a small profit. The tribe sells treated water to the local school at $1,500 a month. There are several local residents that have their own water and sewer tanks. They each use several hundred gallons of treated water a week. RUBA has recommended that the tribe sell the water to those who use large amounts of water.

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.
No 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.
N/A 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
Most of the tribe's finances continue to be handled by TCC staff. RUBA staff continues to recommend to the tribe to ask TCC to provide financial and status reports as none are currently delivered. The only water sales customer is the local school. The school has asked the tribe to send a monthly bill to them so that they can keep records.

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
RUBA staff continues to encourage the tribe to make effort to set up a payment plan with IRS. The IRS was contacted by the 1st chief at least 1.5 yrs. ago at the urging of RUBA staff and a verbal agreement was made to determine the monthly amount to be made. IRS has been very flexible.

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
The positon for the tribal administrator is still open. There are currently three applicants and the tribal council still has to meet to select one for the position. The 1st chief is a member of several regional organizations and constantly is on travel status. He has been too busy to even meet with RUBA staff. RUBA staff runs into him when he (chief) is in town and makes promises to get things going.

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.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No 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
No The utility has adopted an organizational chart that reflects the current structure.
No The policy making body meets as required.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
A tribal council member has told RUBA staff that there are currently three applicants for the tribal administrator position. At least two of them seem to be eligible to fill the vacancy. One of the applicants is a tribal council member. The tribal council meets whenever the 1st chief is in town. He basically lives on his suitcase as he travels most of the time and is in town for a few days of each month.

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
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.
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 tribe will need to change the watering point so that those that use large amounts of water can pay for the service. The tribal council complains that the treated water is even used to water lawns at private properties.