Quarterly Report: 2007, October - December (Q2), Platinum

Community:
Platinum 
Staff:
Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Platinum Traditional Village 
Population:
38  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
1/23/2007 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Nine private homes reportedly have individual water wells, septic systems and plumbing. During the summer, untreated water is hauled from approximately twenty watering points. During winter, residents dig holes in the ice to draw water. Homes without water and sewer service utilize honey buckets which are disposed of in seepage pits or the slough. A washeteria was constructed but is not in use. A DEC/VSW Water/Sewer and Solid Waste Feasibility Study was funded in FY 2003 to assess water, sewer and solid waste needs including a water storage tank, new water treatment plant, connections and plumbing, sludge disposal site, and landfill. A Village Safe Water project to renovate the water/sewer system is moving forward and construction will start as early as summer 2007. The City operates the electric utility and landfill. Community fuel storage capacity is as follows: Arviq Inc. (67,100 gals.); City Power Plant (5,600); Lower Kuskokwim Schools (7,000). 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
At the request of the village council, RUBA traveled to Platinum December 12-14, 2006 to review deficient RUBA assessment indicators. Consistent efforts by the village administrator during the quarter helped resolve most of the deficient RUBA indicators. During the trip, RUBA met with the village council in a public meeting to summarize findings and encourage compliance with grant conditions throughout the Village Safe Water-funded renovation water/sewer project scheduled to start as early as next spring. The village council adopted the water/sewer budget, rates, and initiated billing for water/sewer services in accordance with their water/sewer ordinance. The council actively supports staff in their effort to enforce the utility ordinance including collections. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Remote Maintenance Worker (RMW) provided onsite assistance village staff during the quarter and the administrator maintains contact with Village Safe Water. According to the State DEC Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list current for December 2006, the utility remains on the SNC list for Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR) Unfiltered, a filtration and disinfection violation that can be resolved upon renovation of the water/sewer system. In city government matters, the acting city administrator continues working on the FY 2007 budget. RUBA provided the city with assistance on budgeting and ordinances related to land and the electric utility. Upon submittal of the budget and other reports, the city can access state monies including Small Municipality Energy Assistance Program funds and Payment in Lieu of Taxes. The community is preparing for a Coastal Villages Resource Fund-funded fish plant facility. The city participates in the Power Cost Equalization program and may purchase a pay-as-you-go system to improve electric utility collections which are presently very low. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The village council invited RUBA for a follow-up visit in February 2007.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
22 of 27
Total Score:
48 of 54

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.
Yes 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.
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 village council adopted a balanced water/sewer budget, utility rates, and a water/sewer ordinance with public participation. Monthly bills are being sent to water/sewer customers. The administrator provides monthly operational reports to the village council but has not consistently provided monthly financial reports; the administrator plans to share a copy of a financial report with RUBA upon completion. The city-run electric utility does not charge the village council for electricity used at the utility pumphouse. Fuel supplies are said to be sufficient through spring 2007. Revenues are covering operating expenses but are not presently large enough to cover long term repair and replacement costs.

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 adopted and enforces a water/sewer ordinance that includes a collections policy. The administrator and bookkeeper continue efforts to improve their use of QuickBooks and utilize its accounts receivable and accounts payable modules effectively. Staff use QuickBooks for payroll. Staff monitor cash receipts/disbursements, reconcile bank accounts, and abide by a procurement process that requiring approval prior to purchase.

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
According to staff, state and federal tax payments and reports are submitted timely. The village council's federal tax obligations are met according to correspondence from the IRS dated January 3, 2007.

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
Worker's compensation insurance coverage is in effect through March 25, 2007. The council and staff utilize a well-written, comprehensive personnel policy. The personnel recordkeeping system now includes Form I-9 and the administrator anticipates some staff will complete new W-4 forms for 2007.

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.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The village council actively makes utility policy and seeks public participation. Staff are trained, certified, and have maintained contact with agencies including the Remote Maintenance Worker, Village Safe Water, and RUBA. An experienced village administrator serves as the utility manager and water operator. The council also employs an experienced bookkeeper. The council meets regularly and has voiced interest in maintaining compliance with sanitation grant conditions.

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.
No 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 water operator plans to seek further training and is attempting to identify candidates in the community who can serve as alternate operators. The operator abides by a preventative maintenance plan assembled with help from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Remote Maintenance Worker. The utility remains listed on ADEC's Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list for Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR) Unfiltered and the community is actively seeking system improvements that will facilitate compliance. The utility timely submitted its 2005 Consumer Confidence Report.