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

Jeffrey Congdon  
DCRA Regional Office:
Fairbanks regional office 
Gov't Type:
Water Systems 
Agreement Date:
Too-gha, Incorporated 
238 2013 Department of Labor Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The water and wastewater utilities in the City of Tanana are operated by Too'gha, Inc. which is a non-profit utility board formed between the city and tribe. A new washeteria and water treatment facility was constructed in 2001 and opened to the public in early 2002. Piped water/wastewater service is currently available to approximately 58 customers including the school, four public facilities, several commercial units, and residential customers. The landfill uses an incinerator and provides recycling services. Tanana Power Company provides electricity. In November 2007 two wood burning boilers were installed. In 2010 the boilers were retrofitted to provide heat for the washeteria, the water treatment facility (housed in the same building), and to heat the treated water prior to distribution. Solar panels were installed on the roof of the washeteria to provide a supplemental source of electrical power.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff provided training information to Tanana Tribal Council personnel and to City of Tanana personnel. RUBA staff provided information on Too'gha By-laws and Articles of Incorporation. Too'gha, after advise from RUBA staff returned to a 5 member board, rather than a 7 member board: RUBA staff responded to Too'gha personnel regarding a request for information about the number on the Too'gha board. Too'gha has been operating for several years with a board of 7. available by-laws and articles of incorporation refer to a 5 member board. Fairbanks RUBA staff reviewed Too’gha Articles of Incorporation, By-laws, and policies available in the Fairbanks office, all refer to a 5 member board. Biannual reports for Too’gha, Available on the Corporations and Business website indicate the board changing from a 5 member board to a 7 member board in 2003 or 2004. RUBA staff suggested reviewing meeting minutes of 2003 and 2004 to see if the bylaws were properly amended to reflect the number of seats on the board, RUBA staff suggested if the by-laws had not been amended, Too'gha should go through the amendment process described in Ch. 7 of the by-laws to amend the by-laws and operate (legally) with the 7 member board. Or, Too'gha should go back to a 5 member board, to match existing by-laws. RUBA staff provided information concerning by-laws: a set of rules that the corporation chooses to operate under, the corporation can change their by-laws as the corporation sees fit, so long as the by-laws do not contradict federal, state, or local law. Too'gha appears to have returned to a 5 member board (as described in existing Articles of Incorporation and By-laws).  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will continue to advise and assist Too'gha, Tanana Tribal Council, City of Tanana as requested. Tanana does not have a RUBA dependent project, and does not have a current RUBA assessment.
Essential Indicators:
6 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
14 of 26
Total Score:
20 of 52


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.
N/A Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
No 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.
N/A A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Too'gha does not have a budget. Too'gha may, or may not meet quarterly. Too'gha operates at a loss, and is dependent on the city and the tribe for financial and in-kind assistance. Too'gha utilizes a federal fiscal calander. The laundromat generally operates at a loss that is supplemented by revenues generated by the water/wastewater utilities. The water and wastewater utilities typically operate at a loss as well. This is usually supplemented by either the city or the tribe in Tanana. The Too'gha board is scheduled to meet quarterly, but quarterly meetings rarely take place.

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.
No The payroll system correctly calculates payroll and keeps records.
No A cash receipt system is in place that records incoming money and how it was spent.
No The utility has a cash disbursement system that records how money was spent.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
Accounting systems for Too'gha are not reported to RUBA

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
No The utility is current on filing tax reports.
No 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
In the December 2013 report from IRS, Too'gha had a balance due with the IRS, and is not current with DOL for Employment Security Tax.

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 City of Tanana has a current workers compensation insurance policy in effect through AMLJIA insurance as of December 26 2013. Tanana IRA and the Native Village of Tanana are also insured. The utility has a personnel policy and procedures manual which RUBA has evaluated and a copy is on file in the Fairbanks office. Job descriptions have been in existence since the utility was created and copies are also on file. The water operators take advantage of training opportunities and are current on the certificates necessary for producing clean water. The hiring process is written in the personnel manual, chapter 2.

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.
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.
Yes 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.
No The policy making body meets as required.
Yes The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
Too'gha is not in compliance with business licensing and corporate licensing for the State of Alaska. The policy making board has not been meeting regularly. The bookkeeper is either absent, or is not given the hours to perform the tasks required. Operators are excellent, are well trained, and are continually involved in training opportunities.

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.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility operators are certified (level 1) and progressing in their trainings, however, they are not certified to the level required by the system (level 2). The Remote Maintenance Worker has indicated the need to have fully certified operators. According to the January 2014 SNC list, the utility does not have any violations. The utility does not maintain an inventory of parts but with the assistance of the Remote Maintenance Worker a list of critical spare parts is provided.