|The Tatitlek Village IRA Council is the governing body of the utility. The utility is fully subsidized by the community; residents do not pay any fees for water or wastewater services. The community pays the salary of the water operator, phone and internet costs related to the utility; Chugachmiut - the regional tribal consortium - pays for fuel and supplies associated with the water and wastewater utilities.
The financial history of this community has been complex. The current new administration began its work to restore sustainable financial management practices within the last year. Contact with the RUBA program was initiated in order to access support and trainings which would help the community institute best practices. Many of the systems are in their inception and are not yet fully realized. For example, while the community produced a FY12 budget in April to account for prior year's funds, the final document is not detailed enough to provide relevant information. Salaries, for instance, are listed as a single lump line item, rather than being divided amongst different roles or program categories.
The community is working with an accountant outside the community (Aleut Accounting) for overall bookkeeping services, with tribal office staff taking responsibility for the day-to-day workings of the community, payroll, and electric utility invoicing.
Documents were not supplied which could confirm that YTD revenues and expenditures correspond with budgeted amounts. As the financial recording system is refined and the budget is expanded in detail, it will become easier to evaluate the relationship between intended income and expense with actual amounts.
The tribal administrator reports that financial reports are not regularly given at scheduled meetings of the Tatitlek IRA Council and that utility management decisions are occasionally discussed by the council. Council meeting minutes and financial reports were requested, but were not provided. The community schedules monthly meetings, but is not always successful at raising a quorum, most particularly in the summer months. The most recent meeting was in June.
Fuel is readily available, with purchases as needed. The community orders fuel from Whittier. The prior vendor was Crowley, but the community felt their fuel was too expensive. Access by barge is year-round, as the Prince William Sound is ice-free. The community sells heating fuel to residents from an Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) sponsored bulk fuel facility.
Electricity is provided by the Tatitlek Electric Utility. A customer invoicing system has been developed on QuickBooks for the electric utility. Current financial issues related to the electric utility involve the process by which the electric utility operator reports hours worked; the council is considering placing him on a straight salary to contain expenses. The two local churches do not pay for electricity; the tribal council long ago made a decision to subsidize the churches. This has proven to be a very high cost, particularly with the community's Russian Orthodox Church, which is lit night and day. Typical monthly electricity costs for this building are in the range of $3000 a month. Tribal staff has attempted to negotiate conservation measures to reduce this expense; this has not been successful. Ultimately, the council may consider re-evaluating this subsidy, reallocating these resources elsewhere.