Quarterly Report: 2008, July - September (Q1), Platinum

Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Platinum Traditional Village 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Nine private homes reportedly have individual water wells, septic systems and plumbing. During the summer, untreated water is hauled from approximately twenty watering points. During winter, residents dig holes in the ice to draw water. Homes without water and sewer service utilize honey buckets which are disposed of in seepage pits or the slough. A washeteria was constructed but is not in use. A DEC/VSW Water/Sewer and Solid Waste Feasibility Study was funded in FY 2003 to assess water, sewer and solid waste needs including a water storage tank, new water treatment plant, connections and plumbing, sludge disposal site, and landfill. A Village Safe Water project to renovate the water/sewer system is moving forward and construction will start as early as summer 2007. The City operates the electric utility and landfill. Community fuel storage capacity is as follows: Arviq Inc. (67,100 gals.); City Power Plant (5,600); Lower Kuskokwim Schools (7,000). 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA traveled to Platinum September 25-26, 2007 to assist village council staff resolve deficient RUBA essential indicators. Consistent efforts by the village staff, with support from RUBA, resulted in resolution of all of the deficient RUBA essential indicators. The village administrator attended a RUBA utility management training course in Dillingham during the quarter. Village staff maintain contact with the Village Safe Water engineer and Remote Maintenance Worker assigned to the community. The community continues preparing for construction of a Coastal Villages Resource Fund-funded fish plant facility, a facility that may produce more local seasonal jobs for Platinum than than any other employer in recent history. Concerning city-operated utilities, electric utility collections remain low. RUBA maintains contact with the mayor / city administrator and continues to recommend adoption of an electric ordinance and the FY 2008 budget. Budget adoption will facilitate access to state municipal assistance funding. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will maintain contact with the village council as they work to maintain satisfactory RUBA essential indicators. Village council staff have requested ongoing RUBA assistance including an update to the RUBA Agreement and associated RUBA Workplan, a checklist intended to support capacity development.
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
22 of 27
Total Score:
48 of 53


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
No 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
The village council budgets for the water-sewer utility on a calendar year basis. For the current year, 2007, the adopted water-sewer budget lists pertinent revenues and expenditures and is realistic. The council supports staff in their efforts to enforce the utility ordinance including the policy on collections. Revenues, with support of a modest annual subsidy provided by the village council, are sufficient to cover operating expenditures. Staff reports monthly to the council on operational and financial matters to the Village Council and recently improved financial reports with support from RUBA.

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 acts as the utility board and actively enforces a water-sewer ordinance that includes a collections policy. Staff use QuickBooks computerized accounting software for utility billing, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll. Staff continue to monitor cash receipts/disbursements and abide by a procurement process that requires approval prior to purchase. RUBA recommends staff reconcile banks accounts monthly.

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
According to the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service on September 19, 2007, the village council is meeting federal tax obligations.

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 workers' compensation insurance coverage is current through March 25, 2008. Staff utilize a comprehensive personnel policy and improved personnel recordkeeping in recent months with improved personnel file documentation.

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 village council actively sets utility policy. A new water operator was hired during the quarter and is seeking training under the direction and support of the prior operator. Administrative staff are trained and effectively maintain contact with agencies including the Remote Maintenance Worker, Village Safe Water, and RUBA. The council meets regularly and continues to indicate a strong interest in maintaining compliance with sanitation grant conditions.

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.
No 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".
No 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
A trained water operator is presently overseeing the work of a newly hired water operator. The Remote Maintenance Worker assigned to the community was expected to visit Platinum late in the quarter to assist with installation of new pressure tanks and review of general operations. The utility remains listed on the Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list for a Surface Water Treatment Rule Unfiltered violation but is actively seeking system improvements that will facilitate compliance. The utility timely submitted its 2006 Consumer Confidence Report.