Quarterly Report: 2009, April - June (Q4), Crooked Creek

Community:
Crooked Creek 
Staff:
Julie Dirks  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Village of Crooked Creek 
Population:
145  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
8/10/2009 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Most homes lack plumbing; residents haul water and honeybuckets. A new well provides treated water, and a new washeteria has been completed. The school, store, and three homes have individual wells, septic tanks and plumbing. The school septic drainfield is failing. The community needs a new water tank and landfill with access road. Electricity is provided by Middle Kuskokwim Electric Cooperative. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Crooked Creek was determined to have met all the essential capacity indicators and most of the sustainable indicators in March, 2008. A letter was sent to Crooked Creek in November, 2008 requesting current information to allow RUBA staff to monitor the continued capacity of Crooked Creek. Evelyn Thomas of the Crooked Creek Tribal Council contacted RUBA staff and requested someone visit Crooked Creek to obtain the information. There has been several contacts with Crooked Creek throughout the first quarter of 2009. The Crooked Creek tribal council has voted to assume responsibility for management of their project instead of having Alaska Native Tribal health Consortium (ANTHC) manage the project for them. They are not satisfied with the amount of time it is taking ANTHC to get the project constructed. The tribe believes the project has been in progress for 17 years. However, ANTHC reports that a project funded about 15 years ago was completed and put into operation (funding from 1992 and 1997 provided the community with a new WTP/washeteria and sewage lagoon). The current project with ANTHC, for the design of water and sewer facilities that will provide running water in homes, was first partially funded in 2003 and subsequently in 2005. Prior to this a master plan was funded in 1999 and 2000. While the community believes this project has taken 17 years, it has been in progress since 2003. Madrona Sakar of the Native Village of Crooked Creek attended UTM Planning Management February 23-27, 2009 in Anchorage. After many contacts with the community, all requested documentation to support the findings of this assessment was received. The Crooked Creek Traditional Council meeting all 26 essential capacity indicators as of May 6, 2009. The bookkeeper has provided RUBA staff with a financial report for the month of May, 2009.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Assistance will be provided as requested.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
26 of 27
Total Score:
53 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.
Yes 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
Yes 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
Crooked Creek Traditional Council receives their tribal funds directly from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Some of the various tribal funds they receive are in the form of mini grants. For example they receive an ICWA grant (Indian Child Welfare grant), IRR (Indian Reservations Roads Grant), Environmental Protection Grant (EPA) and Water Resources grant to name a few. Their total revenues are put into a general fund account and expenses are charged to their respective accounts. Because the tribe uses a chart of accounts, the financial manager was able to extract all revenues and expenses from the general account and develop a utility budget. RUBA recommends maintaining a water/wastewater utility budget separate from the general account. This will allow the financial manager easier access to information which in turn can be used to prepare and submit (required) monthly financial reports to the council. Not only are these reports a requirement of this assessment but regular monthly financial reports will assist the council when making sound informed financial decisions. The financial manager currently provides monthly verbal status reports to the council as requested and submits quarterly financial reports to the BIA. Recently the Traditional Council was sussessful in negotiationg an indirect rate with the U.S. Department of Interior. The indirect rate will be utilized to offset some of their administrative costs. The tribal council has fuel on hand and has plans to purchase more when and as needed.

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 Traditional Council has a Procurement Policy on file; this policy was adopted by the council in 2001. The purchasing process involves a tribal council employee completing a purchase order and then submitting it to the Tribal Administrator for review of the program budget prior to purchase. Big ticket items require purchase approval from the council. The Traditional Council sends monthly statements and records all sales transactions with receipts. The receipts are recorded manually then transferred into QuickBooks where they are charted to individual customer accounts. RUBA was unable to determine the council collection rate during this visit however, the information will be noted as it becomes available.

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 Internal Revenue reports that the Crooked Creek Traditional Council is in compliance with payroll tax deposits and reporting. The administrator provided 941/ESC reports for all quarters of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. The reports appear to be complete and accurate.

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.
No 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 Traditional Council is insured under Umialik Insurance Company in Anchorage. The period of coverage is from 1/19/09 to 1/19/10. The Traditional Council follows their Personnel Policy and has written job descriptions for all employees. Personnel files consist of all necessary information except for the I(9) which are on order. Proof of current WC policy coverage will be obtained during site visit in June, 09.

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
On the evening of March 11, 2008, the Crooked Creek Traditional Council signed a resolution adopting a utility ordinace. The Traditional council is the owner of the wate/wastewater utility. The decision making authority and enforcement of utility policy is vested in the Traditional council. A recent amendment to the bylaws outlines the rules and regulations of the 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.
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.
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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
Tom Parent is the primary operator for Crooked Creek's Utility. Tom holds the following Alaska Water and Wastewater certifications: Water Distribution OIT, Wastewater Treatment OIT, Wastewater Collections OIT and Water Treatment I. Tom also prepared and distributed the 2006 Consumer Confidence Report. At present Crooked Creek is not on the Significant Non-compliance List (SNC) for any violations on the Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR) and meets all regulatory criteria.