Quarterly Report: 2009, January - March (Q3), Koliganek

Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
New Koliganek Village Council 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Koliganek has operated a piped system for over 25 years. Water is derived from a well and is treated. Thirty-three homes and facilities are connected to the piped water and a community septic tank. Eight homes have individual wells and septic systems. Fifteen homes haul water and honeybuckets. Koliganek purchases power from the school district, and also owns its own generator. The village has a 'code red' fire suppression unit and one village public safety officer. The community has completed a water and sewer feasibility study and is competing for funds to make improvements with the goal of connecting the entire community. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
At the request of the village council, RUBA conducted an assessment of management indicators in Koliganek on September 4, 2008. The water/sewer utility, operated by the village council, anticipates applying for sanitation funding, including state Village Safe Water grant funding, to renovate the existing sanitation infrastructure. The village council remains without a full time village administrator. RUBA has had limited contact with the village council but continues checking in periodically. Most recently the village council president responded to correspondence from RUBA and voiced a strong desire to resolve deficient RUBA indicators. The water operator and village council president continue handling administrative tasks. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will maintain contact with the village council and will continue to provide assistance upon request.
Essential Indicators:
15 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
17 of 27
Total Score:
32 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.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The village council adopted an FY 2008 entity budget for the federal fiscal year ending September 30, 2008 but it did not include water/sewer revenues and expenditures. RUBA recommends adoption of a water/sewer budget, offered assistance, and will update this report upon receipt. Staff use QuickBooks for some, but not all, bookkeeping and do not presently produce a water/sewer monthly financial report. RUBA provided another sample monthly report during the quarter and offered ongoing assistance upon request. The administrator indicated current customer revenues are not strong but a subsidy sourced from state revenue sharing monies helps the utility maintain steady cash flow. Year-to-date water/sewer revenues and expenditures have not been reported to RUBA. Fuel supplies remain sufficient according to reports. The water operator presents monthly verbal operational reports to the council.

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.
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.
No 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
In prior quarters the utility enforced the water/sewer collections policies but did have in place a water/sewer ordinance. RUBA awaits confirmation from the council that collections are presently being enforced. RUBA provided a sample ordinance including a collection policy and continues offering assistance. In prior quarters village staff reconciled bank accounts monthly, maintained manual customer ledgers, and utilized some, but not all, available QuickBooks computerized accounting modules. Staff were using QuickBooks for processing payroll to facilitate accurate compensation and payroll tax calculations. Whether these tasks are being carried out at this time is unconfirmed; RUBA awaits confirmation from the village council. Staff's filing and recordkeeping practices appeared effective. Staff process payroll manually.

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.
No 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
Staff use QuickBooks and manual accounting systems to process payroll. According to correspondence from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service on April 2, 2009, the council is presently complying with most but not all federal tax reporting and payment obligations. RUBA alerted the council president to the IRS status report, offered assistance upon request, and will update this report as status changes. On April 7, 2009 the Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) confirmed the council is meeting Alaska ESC tax obligations for the quarter ending December 31, 2008.

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.
No 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
In prior quarters the village council provided RUBA with a copy of an employer's notice of insurance through Liberty Northwest showing coverage for a one-year period ending July 1, 2008. RUBA requested a copy of the current notice from the village council and in the interim verified coverage on the Alaska Department of Labor website. Staff utilizes a well-written policy and procedures manual that includes comprehensive sections on personnel and finance, among other topics. The employee personnel folders presently include comprehensive documentation but job descriptions can benefit from review and an update to facilitate performance and effective management of human resources.

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.
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.
Yes The policy making body meets as required.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The council operates the utility and enforces policies on collections but should adopt formal rules and regulations to facilitate effective water/sewer utility management. RUBA provided staff with a sample water/sewer ordinance in prior quarters and can assist with assembly of an ordinance upon request. The administrator who served as bookkeeper and utility manager in prior quarters was trained and has several years of experience; it was reported that the council has not yet hired a new administrator. A trained water operator reports directly to the village council president, oversees utility operations, and is seeking further training to facilitate certification. The utility employs an alternate water operator. Concerning meetings where public water/sewer system discussion is anticipated, RUBA recommends the village council continue inviting all members of the public to participate.

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.
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".
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 water operator is trained and voiced plans to gain current certification for water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment. Utility staff follow a preventative maintenance plan and maintain contact with regional Remote Maintenance Worker staff. RUBA recommends safety meetings and suggests formation of a safety committee. The utility published its 2007 Consumer Confidence Report timely. RUBA requests a copy of the utility's inventory control list and critical spare parts list.