Quarterly Report: 2008, July - September (Q1), Gulkana

Jimmy Smith  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Gulkana Village 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Water is currently derived from a well, is treated and stored in a 100,000-gal. tank. Due to iron and magnesium levels, new infiltration galleries on the Gulkana River and water treatment improvements are still under construction. A piped water and sewer system serves most homes. A community septic tank treats wastewater. A number of residences also use individual wells and septic tanks. A master plan has been completed to examine connection of all homes to a new system. Permafrost and high water tables are problematic in this region. The Public Health Service (PHS) constructed a laundromat in 1976, but it is not functioning -- a washeteria is needed in the community.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On August 29, 2007, RUBA staff traveled to Gulkana and met with Lamonica 'Bry' Claw, Administrator for Gulkana Village Council, to complete a RUBA assessment of management capacity indicators. The staff provided the documentation supporting the conclusions of the assessment report. Specific documents used in this report are available with the RUBA staff for review. Gulkana meets all essential management indicators at this time. A contractor was hired to train utility staff with QuickBooks 2007 in late July of 2007.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA assistance will be provided to the community if requested. RUBA staff will provide assistance via phone, facsimile and email to the community.
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
24 of 26
Total Score:
51 of 53


Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
Yes 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.
Yes 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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The Tribal staff has been providing monthly financial reports to RUBA staff for review. The Tribal staff uses QuickBooks 2007 for all the utility finances including the operations of the Tribal Council. The water and sewer utility budget report has revenue and expense line items listed with the remaining balance of the approved budget. The Tribe subsidizes the utility expense from their housing rental income. The Tribal Administrator provides a verbal report to the Village Council members at their regular scheduled meetings. RUBA staff recommended that the Tribal Administrator have a written report of utility activities for Council members on a monthly basis.

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 Village Council hired a QuickBooks consultant to train the staff on the 2007 QuickBooks software in late July. The training was held for several days in Gulkana by the QuickBooks consultant. The Village Council has a procurement policy in place for supplies, equipment and contracts. Purchases over $500 must be approved by the Tribal Administrator and Accountant. Purchases less than $500 are approved by the Tribal Administrator.

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 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has indicated the Village Council is in compliance with tax filing and deposit requirements and there are no federal tax liens against the Village Council.

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 Village Council has workers' compensation insurance through Umialik Insurance Company that will expire in April 2008. The Village Council has a personnel policy in place including job descriptions for all employees working for the Council. If a position becomes vacant, the position is advertised and qualified candidates are interviewed for the position. Once an employee has been selected for a position, they are on a 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.
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.
N/A The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The Village Council adopted a water and sewer ordinance in 2000 which is followed by utility staff and customers. The Tribal Administrator reports to the Village Council President on the activities of the utility on a regular basis. The Tribal Administrator and Bookkeeper have been in their positions for several years; these long term employees have meant stability for the utility. .

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.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The operator provides verbal reports to the Administrator of the activities of the utility. The operators for the utility are Operator in Training (OIT) certified in water distribution and water treatment and the certification expires in December 2008. The Administrator is concerned that a new lift station that is in place will create additional operating expense for the utility.