Quarterly Report: 2012, January - March (Q3), Kasigluk

Community:
Kasigluk 
Staff:
Eli Jacobson  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Kasigluk Traditional Elders Council 
Population:
569  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
5/1/2012 
Community Sanitation Overview:
The washeteria in the old village site of Kasigluk was closed for good. The residents at the old village site rely on rain water for drinking and haul raw river water for washing every day house cleaning needs. The new village area known as Akula Heights uses the school well. Honeybuckets are dumped into sewage bins and hauled to the lagoon. Homes are not plumbed, and residents were reliant on the washeteria for bathing and laundry. Major infrastructure improvements have been funded, including two new wells, water treatment plant, a 100,000-gal. storage tank, a new washeteria and sewage lagoon. Electricity is provided by AVEC. AVEC installed three wind generators in 2006. In April 2012 the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium will begin connecting 55 houses in Kasigluk to water and wastewater lines. Additionally, 38 houses in the old section of town will be given flush haul units. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
March 14-15 2012 RUBA staff went to the Kasigluk Traditional Council office to assist the administrative staff in the areas of the RUBA assessment that will be affected by the new water/wastewater treatment system coming on line. In April, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) will begin connecting 55 houses in Kasigluk to water and wastewater lines. Additionally, 38 houses in the old section of town will be given flush haul units. This new system will affect several of the essential indicators on the RUBA report. Many of the documents required for verifying RUBA compliance such as the budget, monthly finance reports, and collection policy will have to be created, updated or amended. Tribal Administrator Karen Martin had recently located the water/wastewater ordinance, and customer agreement. RUBA staff reviewed these documents as well as the monthly financial reports for January and February of 2012 in preparation for a meeting scheduled with the council at 1400. Ms. Martin asked RUBA staff to explain the RUBA program to the current council. After lunch RUBA staff was invited to speak with the council afterwards. From 1400 to 1530 RUBA staff explained the RUBA program to the council. Topics discussed in detail included the utility project, the difference between a monthly financial report and a budget, billing, enforcement, sustainability, all six areas of the RUBA report, and how RUBA staff can help. Suggestions were made on how to amend the current utility ordinance, and the customer agreement for use with the new system when it comes on line. It was also explained that the new system will require the budget to be amended. RUBA staff explained that ideally, utility revenues should cover the cost of the service and in order to provide money for a repair and replacement fund, a separate account should be established and included in the budget as a separate expense line item. RUBA staff also explained the concept of a collection rate and how it affects sustainability. Council members asked questions and expressed concerns about how to fairly bill the two different types of service. The fact that flush haul units receive a lower level of service than the houses hooked up to water/wastewater lines, generated a lot of discussion. After the meeting, RUBA staff trained the bookkeeper in Excel to help her create a new monthly report template. On Thursday March 15, RUBA staff returned to the Kasigluk Traditional Council office. Documentation that traditional council staff provided for the RUBA report was reviewed. Kasigluk Traditional Council employs a bookkeeping contractor called Alaska Rural Empowered. Currently, Alaska Rural Empowered provides the traditional council a monthly report that contains the FY2012 budget, which the council reviews and approves. The tribal administrator was unable to attend the council meeting the previous day; however, during the afternoon of the second day, the administrator was available to sign the authorization to request federal tax information. Water Operator Sam Tinker also came and talked with the RUBA staff about his certifications. Mr. Tinker is certified for the current water system, but when the new system starts, he will need a higher level of certification. Training is already being scheduled for the operator to meet these requirements.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to work with Kasigluk Traditional Council on the remaining indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
24 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
14 of 26
Total Score:
38 of 53

Finances

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.
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.
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.
No A monthly manager's report is prepared.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Currently, Alaska Rural Empowered provides the traditional council a monthly report that contains the FY2012 budget, which the council reviews and approves. The budget is based on a calendar year and was adopted by resolution on March 9, 2012. Kasigluk Traditional Council provided the three page utility budget. The first two pages are department expenditures for the water/wastewater department and washeteria department. The third page shows the total locally generated revenues. From these documents it can be determined the expenditures for the water/wastewater department and washeteria department total $75,610. The expenditures for these departments equal $132,292. This is not balanced or realistic. The remaining department expenditures and revenues will need to be provided to determine if sufficient funds are available to cover the deficit and the tribal budget is balanced. Monthly financial reports have been prepared by Alaska Rural Empowered through February 2012 have been provided to RUBA staff. RUBA staff contacted Alaska Village Electrical Cooperative (AVEC) on March 14, 2012. AVEC communicated that the Kasigluk Traditional Council is current on electric bills. It is unknown if the community has a financial plan to purchase a years fuel supply.

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
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.
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
Kasigluk Traditional Council has an adopted written collection policy. It will need to be amended when the new water/wastewater comes on line. Copies of past utility bills were provided and, while the assessment was being conducted, customers were coming in and paying bills. They were issued hand written receipts. Kasigluk Traditional Council staff generated a billing statement they send out. QuickBooks is being used for accounting functions. The accounts payable system was a file cabinet that had all vendors organized into files. Receipts for outgoing money were kept in this file. Their monthly reports and 941 forms demonstrate they have a payroll system. The cash receipts system was manual with carbon copies. Bank reconciliations are not done on a monthly basis. The tribal administrator submits purchase requisition requests to Kasigluk Traditional Council for supplies needed.

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
On March 30, 2012 the IRS verified that Kasigluk Traditional Council is current on Federal taxes. The Alaska State Department of Labor (DOL) was contacted on March 21, 2012. DOL stated that the Kasigluk Traditional Council is current on their Employment Security Contributions account. Kasigluk is not on the Lien Watch dated January-February 2012.

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
Kasigluk workers compensation insurance is through the Umialik Insurance Company. A copy of KTC's personnel policy was provided. It describes job classifications, performance evaluations, orientation/training, and reassignment/probation periods. KTC's personnel files were spot checked. The bookkeeper and tribal administrator have both received multiple kinds of training.

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
No 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
KTC owns and operates the utility. KTC has weekly meetings in which they make policy. The tribal administrator has been working for KTC for over a year, and has an Associate's degree. The administrator stated she had training in orientation, BIA, at the Providers Conference and in administration. Bookkeeping duties are performed by Rural Alaska Empowered. The council has not adopted an organizational chart.

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
No 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.
N/A 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
Water Operator Sam Tinker is certified for the current water system, but when the new system starts, he will need a higher level of certification. Training is already being scheduled for the operator to meet these requirements. A preventative maintenance plan was provided by Dave Roland, the onsite superintendent. A copy of meeting minutes that document the manager addressing the council about the monthly operations and maintenance report meets this sustainable indicator. A safety manual and regular safety meetings are needed. The utility operators report to the tribal administrator and give her verbal reports. KTC is not on the SNC list dated October 2011. They currently do not have a Consumer Confidence Report posted and one was not provided. However, the water plant is no longer providing potable water to the community. When a new water plant comes on line, a Consumer Confidence Report will be required. The utility operator provided an inventory control list that mainly focused on tools. It had a detailed account of all the tools they have and use but no spare parts. The critical spare parts list had only one entry.