Quarterly Report: 2008, October - December (Q2), Allakaket

Community:
Allakaket 
Staff:
Andy Durny  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Allakaket Village 
Population:
87  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
1/24/2008 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Most public facilities in Allakaket were severely damaged in the 1994 Koyukuk River flood. Construction of a new washeteria, well and treatment plant, 100,000-gal. water storage tank, sewage lagoon, and force main was completed in 2005 by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). The new washeteria opened to the public in August 2005. The City subsequently sold the old washeteria building and lagoon to the school district. Under an agreement with the City, signed in 2005, the Allakaket Tribal Council manages and operates the new washeteria. No households have plumbing: residents carry treated water from the washeteria, and haul honey buckets or use pit privies. A new landfill and access road have been completed.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Allakaket does not currently meet all essential indicators. The utility does not generate sufficient revenues to cover operating expenses: the difference is paid for with funds from the General Fund, but there is no overall budget to confirm the source of such funds. Since opening in August 2005, the new washeteria has been closed for extended periods of time due to various problems such as frozen water transmission lines, frozen sewer lines, leaks in the sewer lines, and problems with the heating system. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium responded to these problems, and has made some changes in the design and operation of the facility. This past summer, ANTHC changed the water collection and storage system to a 'draw and fill' system in an effort to eliminate freeze ups in the water transmission lines: the system has been operating satisfactorily ever since. A proposal to connect the washeteria to the waste heat system at the nearby electric power plant is being considered: if implemented, this change is expected to help significantly reduce operating costs. This quarter RUBA maintained phone contact with the tribal administrator.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will monitor and assist as needed.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
12 of 23
Sustainable Indicators:
8 of 27
Total Score:
20 of 50

Finances

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.
N/A The utility is current in paying all water/wastewater electric bills.
No 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 FY 08 budget has not been officially adopted yet. We do not have copies of the current financial reports. Recently the Tribal Council's checking account was overdrawn: the tribal administrator transferred funds into the checking account to address the immediate need.

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.
No Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts.
No 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 does not have customers other than laundromat users. As such, the utility does not require a collection policy, does not have customers to bill, and does not track customers and past due accounts. The accounting system was upgraded this past year, but RUBA staff does yet have a copy of the upgraded system. The regular bookkeeper has been on extended maternity leave since October: in the mean time the office aide is handling the bookkeeping and the financial reporting. The office aide does not have the same level of experience and skill as the regular bookkeeper so there are concerns that the recordkeeping is not as up-to-date as it should be. The regular bookkeeper is expected to return to work in March 2008.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
N/A The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
N/A The utility is current on filing tax reports.
N/A 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
According to contact with the IRS and with the Alaska Department of Labor,the Allakaket Tribal Council did not have any outstanding tax issues as of the previous quarter. We are waiting for a response from IRS and DOL regarding current tax status.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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.
No The utility has personnel folders on every employee that contain at least: I-9, Job Application and Letter of Acceptance.
No The utility has a probationary period for new hires that includes orientation, job training/oversight, and evaluations.
No The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
We do not have confirmation that the Allakaket Tribal Council has a workers compensation policy in effect. In general, the Allakaket Tribal Council has adopted the personnel policies of Tanana Chiefs Conference.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
No The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
No 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.
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 Allakaket Tribal Council operates the utility as per a 2005 agreement between the City and the Tribe.The Tribal Council has reportedly expressed interest in transferring ownership of the utility from the City to the Tribe. The Tribal Council bookkeeper is on extended maternity leave until March 2008: in the meantime the office aide will handle the bookkeeping duties. The office aide has previous QuickBooks experience, although not as much as the regular bookkeeper. Allakaket has a utility ordinance, but we do not have confirmation that it has been adopted.

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.
No 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
Brian Henry, the water plant operator, has a Water Treatment OIT certificate good through 12-31-08. The utility had not been operating at the level of service that was proposed: since opening in 2005, it was closed for extended periods of time due to frozen water lines, frozen sewer lines and other problems, some of them a result of construction and design. ANTHC has corrected some of those problems, and the facility is reportedly operating at the level of service that was proposed.The utility is currently on the Significant Non-Complier list: the earliest it can return to compliance is may 2008.