Quarterly Report: 2007, July - September (Q1), Platinum

Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Platinum Traditional Village 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
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 foward 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:
The Platinum village council staff made apparent progress in resolving deficient RUBA assessment indicators and indicated the intention to share documentation with RUBA late in the quarter. However, RUBA awaits documentation including an adopted water/sewer ordinance and financial reports. During the quarter RUBA provided village staff with recommendations on matters including ordinance language, governance structures, and rates. RUBA offered to participate in the final public hearings associated with the ordinance but did not hear back from staff until after the ordinance was reportedly adopted. RUBA requested copies of the documents but has not received them to date. According to the State DEC Significant Non-compliance List report of August 18, 2006, the community's water system remains on the SNC list for SWTR Unfiltered, a violation that can be resolved upon renovation of the water/sewer system. RUBA contacted the village council to express interest in traveling to the community to assist with RUBA assessment follow-up. The village council responded affirmatively late in the quarter and RUBA will propose a visit date for early next quarter. Concerning city matters, RUBA provided assistance to city staff and officials on topics including municipal election preparation, water/sewer concerns, and community planning regarding a CVRF-funded fish processing facility. The village council adopted a RUBA Agreement and Work Plan in the prior quarter. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA plans to travel to Platinum to assist with resolution of deficient assessment indicators early next quarter.
Essential Indicators:
16 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
19 of 27
Total Score:
35 of 54


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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The village administrator informed RUBA that the village council adopted a water/sewer budget, utility rates, and a water/sewer ordinance with public participation. Further, the administrator indicated bills are now being sent to water/sewer customers. RUBA awaits confirmation of the budget, financial reports, and collection rates. Fuel supplies were said to be sufficient through fall.

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.
No An accounts receivable system is in place which tracks customers and reports past due accounts and amounts.
No 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 reportedly adopted a water/sewer ordinance including a collections policy. RUBA requested a copy of the ordinance and billing records for confirmation but has not received documentation to date. The utility continues efforts to improve its accounts receivable system and accounts payable system. Staff do, however, document cash disbursement. The payroll system is satisfactory. Staff plan to implement computerized accounting software after receiving training. Staff reconcile bank accounts and utilize a procurement process that requires 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
The village council's federal tax requirements are met according to the January 4, 2006 IRS correspondence. Staff maintaining compliance is ongoing.

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. Staff made improvements in recent quarters to the personnel recordkeeping system at RUBA's recommendation.

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.
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
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's efforts to implement a new water/sewer ordinance, collections policy, and rate structure indicate progress toward resolution of deficient indicators. The village administrator scheduled public hearings upon RUBA's recommendations for public input. Staffing has been stable. An experienced tribal administrator serves as the utility manager and water operator. The council also employs a trained bookkeeper. The council meets regularly and RUBA continues to encourage public input into water/sewer project discussions.

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
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 RUBA recommends a backup operator receive training. The utility does not have a preventative maintenance plan in place and should consult with a Remote Maintenance Worker. The Remote Maintenance Worker services were tranferred from Bristol Bay to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. The utility can benefit from a maintenance plan that includes routine tasks critical for the safe and sustainable operation of the utility. The utility remains listed on ADEC's Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list for SWTR Unfiltered but the operator is actively working toward achieving compliance. The utility submitted its 2005 Consumer Confidence Report.