Quarterly Report: 2009, January - March (Q3), Twin Hills

Community:
Twin Hills 
Staff:
Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Twin Hills Village 
Population:
77  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/8/2009 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Piped water and sewer systems were installed in Twin Hills in 1977. Water is drawn using a submersible pump, is treated and stored in a 60,000 gallon steel tank. The gravity sewage system feeds to a disposal lagoon on the far west side of town. Approximately 22 households have piped services and complete plumbing. As of 2003 there are 7 new HUD housing units with individual wells and septic tanks. The school operates its own system. A coin-operated washeteria is available. Water, sewer and landfill improvements are currently being studied.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA traveled to Twin Hills to provide onsite assistance with deficient RUBA indicators and to meet with village council members about the RUBA Assessment of Management Indicators, a sanitation grant condition. Two RUBA essential indicators related to finances remain deficient, but staff is making progress. RUBA will maintain contact with the council and offered further onsite assistance upon request. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will maintain contact with with the council and continue offering assistance as staff work to satisfy RUBA essential indicators related to monthly financial reporting.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
24 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
20 of 27
Total Score:
44 of 53

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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The council adopts an entity-wide spending plan and for the first time adopted a balanced separate, detailed water/sewer budget in December 2008. Staff provides the council with a detailed monthly financial report using QuickBooks accounting software but the current report format does not present year-to-date comparison to budgeted figures. RUBA provided onsite assistance to staff with assembly of a draft water/sewer monthly financial report for presentation at the next village council meeting. RUBA offered ongoing assistance with the report and will update this report upon receipt of a complete, current report, expected shortly. The council subsidizes the utility with general funds when user fees do not cover operating expenses. The budget adopted in December 2008 includes a sizable subsidy. The council ordered roughly $170,000 worth of heating and diesel fuel, paid a portion up front, and plans installment payments. Fuel supplies are presently being flown in to Twin Hills from Dillingham but staff believe sufficient fuel is on hand for water/sewer operations.

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 a water/sewer ordinance in June 2008 that includes a collection policy. Staff bills regularly, tracks customer balances, and keeps individual customer ledgers effectively. RUBA viewed accounting records and collection letters during the April 21, 2009 visit indicating the council actively enforces its collection policy. Staff uses QuickBooks for accounting including accounts payable and payroll processing. Billing for electricity and water/sewer utility services are combined on one statement.

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
Staff process payroll using QuickBooks accounting software. According to the Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Advocate Service on April 8, 2009, the village council is meeting its federal tax obligations. On April 7, 2009 the Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) confirmed the council is meeting Alaska ESC tax obligations for the quarter ending March 31, 2009.

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
The village council's Employer's Notice of Insurance, purchased through Alaska National Insurance Company indicates a coverage period through October 16, 2009. Staff informed RUBA installment payments continue and that coverage remains current at this time. RUBA viewed a personnel and office procedures manual developed for the council with assistance from a paid consultant in 2007. The manual is well written but does not include a safety policy. The policy does including a written evaluation and hiring process. The utility provides training opportunities to staff.

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 council adopted a utility operating policy and guidelines in the form of a water/sewer ordinance. Billing and accounts receivable records indicate the policy making body is enforcing utility policy. Water/sewer customers whose accounts are delinquent are given an opportunity to coordinate a payment plan with the utility. The village council appears fully staffed with respect to administrative employees including a village administrator. The grant writer remains active in the administration of day to day activities and the new assistant bookkeeper continues learning internal procedures. Bookkeeping is shared by three staff, one of whom is trained and experienced with Power Cost Equalization reporting. The water operator is trained and experienced. RUBA recommends the council continue to invite public participation in discussions related to the public water/sewer utility.

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.
No 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 water operator possesses certification for Water Treatment OIT, Wastewater Collection OIT, and Wastewater Treatment OIT according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation operator database. Utility staff discusses safety matters periodically and covers the topic of safety with staff from the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation including the Remote Maintenance Worker (RMW) but can benefit from regular safety meetings. The water operator presently serves as an elected village council member and is presently serving as the primary electric utility operator. Staff maintain a preventative maintenance plan. The council submitted its Consumer Confidence Report timely.