Quarterly Report: 2015, July - September (Q1), Chenega Bay

Community:
Chenega Bay 
Staff:
Roberta Eleazer  
DCRA Regional Office:
Anchorage regional office 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Native Village of Chenega 
Population:
63 2013 Department of Labor Estimate 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
4/11/2013 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
9/23/2014 
Community Sanitation Overview:
A surface water collection system with a dam, treatment, and storage capacity of 150,000 gallons, allows for piped distribution to all 25 homes in Chenega. Water treatment/storage improvements and groundwater well-source funds are being sought. Wastewater is piped to a 10,000 gallon community wastewater tank. Refuse collection services are provided.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On July 23, RUBA staff attended the Chenega council meeting and presented the current RUBA management assessment. On July 24, staff met with the acting administrator to update the assessment. The administrator has been employed with the corporation and village since 2011, and was the acting tribal administrator from 2011 through 2012. He has excellent knowledge of every aspect of the village utilities; including expenses and maintenance of those utilities. Although located in Anchorage, he works in the village twice a month in the summer and once a month in the winter. In November 2013, the village purchased residential meters, which utilize the Marsh Creek Ampy system. The utilities have a 100 percent collection rate for the household and commercial accounts. All revenues and expenses are listed in the utility budget, and the budget is realistic. The acting administrator sits on the council and provides utility reports, at the quarterly meetings. A resolution was passed at the meeting increasing the utility rates for sustainability of the utility. Starting August 1, household rates will be $100 and commercial rates $150. A $13,367 BIA grant subsidizes the utilities. The utility has a new operator, who has attended the Introduction to Small Water Systems class. He is scheduled to take the water operator certification exam in October. The previous operator moved from the village; however, he developed a step-by-step tutorial, with guidance from ANTHC. The village office sells and delivers diesel fuel to residents. The village has two 12,000 gallon tanks. The port is ice free and fuel is purchased from Dojer in Whittier as needed.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will provide support to the Village of Chenaga as requested. RUBA staff will update the assessment when the 2013 Consumer Confidence Report is complete. The utility is required to distribute the completed report to all customers by July 1, of each year.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
25 of 27
Total Score:
51 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.
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
The utilities has a 100-percent collection rate. All revenues and expenses are listed in the utility budget and the budget is realistic. Monthly financial reports are provided to the council. The acting administrator is a council member and provides utility reports at the regularly scheduled meetings. As of August 1, household rates will be $100 and commercial rates $150. A $13,367 BIA grant subsidizes the utilities. The utility has an adequate supply of fuel on hand. Chenega Tribe has the capacity to hold approximately 25,000 gallons of fuel. The current fuel delivery contractor has the capacity to deliver approximately 6,500 gallons, and the village receives fuel as needed, roughly every two months.

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
In November 2013, the village purchased residential meters, which utilize the Marsh Creek Ampy system. The utilities have a 100 percent collection rate. The budget spreadsheet provided to RUBA staff during the assessment lists labor and materials costs by month. The administrator provided a chart of accounts listing coded categories. The assistant administrator, manages the purchasing of equipment or replacement parts for the utility and all general maintenance for the village.

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
Payroll expenses are listed on the individual utility budget. As of September 2014, a signed Authorization to Request Federal Tax Information indicated the city is in compliance with federal tax deposit requirements. The State Department of Labor granted tax clearance on September 13, 2014.

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.
No 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 tribe's insurance is through Alaska National Insurance Company and the policy is current as of 9/14/2014. The tribe's personnel policy is extensive, covering attendance, holidays, disciplinary action, travel and reimbursement, safety and health and employment records and hiring practices. Personnel folders are kept in a locked storage closet and files include I-9 forms, letters of acceptance, employment applications and job descriptions. The utility does not utilize a written personnel evaluation; however, verbal feedback is given. The utility is willing to provide adequate training for employees. During the assessment visit, the power plant operator was in Seward receiving training at the Alaska Vocational Technical school. The water plant operator is currently studying material for the water distribution certification exam and will take the exam in October 2014.

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 Chenega IRA Tribe owns the water utility and RUBA staff was provided with a utility ordinance. The council meets quarterly and notice of meetings is posted in the tribal office and the post office. The policy making body is enforcing the utility policy. The financial accounts are managed in the Anchorage office. The acting administrator manages the day-to-day operations of the utility. The operator has attended the Introduction to Small Water Systems class and is scheduled to take the water operator certification exam in October. The previous operator moved from the village however, he provided a step-by-step tutorial with guidance from ANTHC. The acting administrator has a water operator certification.

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.
No 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
The water operator works closely with the remote maintenance worker and is familiar with the maintenance and operations manual developed by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. The utility has a safety manual and the utility operator checks in with other staff on a daily basis. The utility has not completed and distributed its Consumer Confidence Report. While the utility operator does not provide a written report to the assistant administrator, he provides verbal reports which ensure information about maintenance issues is current. The utility is current with all testing and is not on the significant non-compliance list. As part of its operations manual, the utility maintains a critical spare parts list.