Quarterly Report: 2014, January - March (Q3), Chalkyitsik

Community:
Chalkyitsik 
Staff:
Jeffrey Congdon  
DCRA Regional Office:
Fairbanks regional office 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Chalkyitsik Village 
Population:
72 2013 Department of Labor Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
12/16/2013 
Exp Date:
1/2/2016 
Last Updated:
4/4/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The Chalkyitsik village council owns and operates the central watering point and washateria. The Village Council is the policy-making body for the utility. Chalkyitsik Village Water has five service connections, none of which are metered. Residents haul water from the watering point and use outhouses for wastewater disposal. The utility provides piped water service to the school. A utility master plan was completed to study improvements needed to provide a community system. Chalkyitsik recently had a clinic constructed in the community by an Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) grant. A water and wastewater masterplan is currently being updated by a contractor. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff travelled to Chalkyitsik to participate in the regularly scheduled Chalkyitsik Village Council meeting, and to work with tribal staff on the creation of an overall budget for Chalkyitsik Village Council. RUBA staff noted an overly extensive chart of accounts in the entity’s QuickBooks, and worked with QuickBooks hotline staff for advice on cleaning up some of the unnecessary and unused accounts within the QuickBooks file. RUBA and tribal staff created a draft budget for the council to adopt. RUBA staff entered the draft budget into QuickBooks on an account basis, and is available to assist Chalkyitsik staff on entering program budgets into QuickBooks so that the QuickBooks account can be a useful tool in forecasting finances as well as its current use, tracking historic information. Using an overall budget will help Chalkyitsik to work in a proactive, rather than a reactive financial manner. RUBA staff spent an extra day in Chalkyitsik because of flight cancellations, and was able to work with the village council’s EPA director to prepare numerous resolutions requesting advice and assistance from Tanana Chiefs Conference and from the State of Alaska regarding the planned landfill, the existing landfill, and a desired water and wastewater utility. Chalkyitsik Village Council recently received AMPY pre-pay meter bases for residential electric customers. The Village Council plans on having the entire residential electric customer base on a pre-pay system. Chalkyitsik Tribal Administrative staff successfully completed a RUBA Personnel Management training in Fairbanks in March of this quarter.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to work with Chalkyitsik throughout the next quarter. RUBA staff plans to assist with policy development and adoption, and to continue working with the council and administration on following and amending the recently adopted budget.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
23 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
16 of 26
Total Score:
39 of 52

Finances

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.
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 Chalkyitsik Village Council has not adopted or passed a budget for the overall organization or for the water and wastewater utility. The Village Council has decided not to bill customers for water usage from the watering point, or to bill village council owned facilities. The water utility only bills one customer, the school. The watering point and washeteria operate at a financial loss, this loss is subsidized by the electric utility which is also owned and operated by the Chalkyitsik Village Council, Many of the tribal programs or services provided by the village council have budgets, but there is no overall organizational budget. Financial reports based on profit and loss statements, and including accounts payable and accounts receivable reports are generated, however, these do not compare against a budget, and therefore do not meet RUBA requirements for financial reports. Chalkyitsik Village Council purchases fuel as needed, usually a DC6 load (4200 gallons), every month or two. This fuel is used primarily for the electric plant, but also for heating oil. The utility does receive revenues, through payments from the school, income from the washeteria, and subsidies from the electric utilities to cover known operating expenses; however, without a budget in place and being followed, there is no guarantee of the utilities expenses being met.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
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
Chalkyitsik Village Council does have a collection policy, but the policy is not actively followed. The Chalkyitsik Village Council uses QuickBooks for accounts receivable, payable, payroll, and for cash recording. QuickBooks accurately tracks past due accounts and amounts receivable. Accounts payable are entered into QuickBooks when paid; accounts payable are paid as they are received. The chart of accounts correctly identifies categories. The accounts are reconciled monthly. Nearly all purchases are made by check. Funds are verified against the balance available in the checking account, rather than against the budget. Occasionally, on an as needed basis, the administrator does pay cash payments for local freight from the airport at a rate of $10/utility trailer load. Cash payments are written in the cash ledger, recording cash expenditures. Cash received as payment is stored in the safe, and then deposited to the bank. The utility does not have a budget to compare expenses against.

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 Chalkyitsik Village Council utilizes QuickBooks to calculate and track payroll liabilities. Chalkyitsik utilizes electronic fund deposits for 941 reporting and deposits. Bookkeeping staff utilize this paper record as well as electronic records through QuickBooks to ensure timely preparation and payment of federal and state tax reports and deposits. The utility is current with all IRS reports and payments for federal tax reporting and deposits. Alaska DOL quarterly reporting has not been received by RUBA staff. Chalkyitsik is typically compliant with DOL payments and reporting.

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.
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.
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 Chalkyitsik Village Council has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect provided through Alaska National Insurance which is valid until 7/17/14. The village council utilizes a personnel policy handbook wherein adequate job descriptions are written for all positions, the utility hiring process and job evaluation process are included in the handbook. Job notices are posted with the job description and are advertised locally at least 14 days. RUBA staff verified contents of personnel folders and confirmed an I-9, job application, and letter of acceptance in the folders. Employees are supposed to be evaluated annually with a process that reviews their job description, this has not taken place in some time. The Chalkyitsik Village Council has a 90 day probationary period for all new hires; orientation, oversight, and job training are provided during the probationary period. Training opportunities are provided as needed and available.

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 Chalkyitsik Village Council is the owner of the utility; the utility is public water system 2300183. The village council is the policy making body, the village council is also the utility board. The utility is managed by the tribal administrator, Tamara Henry. Tamara has been in the position of first chief in the past, has an associate’s degree in Tribal Management, and has been the tribal administrator for over a year. Kayleen Carroll is the bookkeeper for the utility, she has approximately eight months experience with the tribe, and is new to the position of bookkeeper. She recently attended a RUBA Financial Management training. Larry Henry is the main water operator for the utility; he is currently certified at Water Treatment level 2 and Wastewater Lagoon and Wastewater Collection Provisional. Training is available to all personnel. Training opportunities are offered to staff when available and attendance of training is encouraged. The utility has an organizational chart that reflects the current structure; this chart is located on page 5 of the Chalkyitsik Community Plan. The utility body, as a village council, is not required to comply with the Open Meetings Act.

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
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.
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".
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 operator continues to keep his certifications compliant. Mr. Henry is certified at a level 2, the system is a class 2. The Remote Maintenance Worker (RMW) has developed a preventative maintenance plan for Chalkyitsik that Mr. Henry follows. The manager and the utility operator communicate on a routine basis, however, spot checks are not done. Chalkyitsik Village Council personnel do hold safety meetings. There are currently no unresolved major problems or outages within the utility facilities or distribution system. The water treatment plant is producing potable water, and is currently not on the Significant Non-Compliance list. The last Consumer Confidence Report on file is from 2012. RUBA staff was not provided with an inventory control list or a critical spare parts list.