Quarterly Report: 2007, April - June (Q4), Kipnuk

Ken Berlin  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Agreement Date:
Native Village of Kipnuk 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
A new 210,000 gallon water storage tank is filled from a reservoir on a nearby lake; residents haul treated water from several watering points. Honeybuckets are hauled by the village to a sewage lagoon. Homes are not plumbed. Construction has begun on infrastructure improvements, including a new reservoir pumphouse, a water treatment plant and sewage lagoon. The Village Council collects refuse and maintains the Class III permitted landfil. The Kipnuk School needs additional funds to complete its bio-pure sewage treatment plant and increase storage capacity. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff traveled to Kipnuk on June 20, 2007 and updated the RUBA assessment with the Traditional Council administration and finance staff. Essential indicators in the areas of finances and taxes are being met. However, the utility is not enforcing the collections policy, does not have workers' compensation insurance and is repaying an EPA grant, which is causing cash flow problems for the community. The Tribal staff is currently working on securing the insurance and pursuing outstanding utility bills. The bookkeeper attended the QuickBooks Pro training in May 2007 sponsored by our Division. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Rate study to determine cost of utility's operations including pump house. Change current cash receipt system to NEBS. Travel and update RUBA assessment.
Essential Indicators:
23 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
41 of 54


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.
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.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The 2007 budget and finance reports were obtained during the June trip. Since the water and sewer system is just being built there are minimal costs to electricity and heating fuel.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No 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 Tribe has a collection policy but was not charging for services and doing billings for the last several months. The billings and collection enforcement is going to restart in July 07. Accounting is done manually because the computer used by accounting kept crashing. A new computer is on order and it was recommended the old computer be upgraded. The cash receipt system is a one book receipt system and it was recommended a change over to the NEBS receipt system.

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
As stated in the Accounting Systems section, the TKC bookkeeper calculates, tracks, reports and pay payroll tax liabilities. Copies of the last quarterly reports and tax deposits were obtained in June 07.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
KTC has no Workers Compensation insurance but administration is working to get coverage.

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.
No 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 KTC owns and operates the water pump house and sewer haul system. The KTC is the policy making body for the utility. The KTC is active in making policy for the utility. The Tribal Administrator started working for TKC in November 2003. His experience is in the military working as a supply officer. The bookkeeper was recently hired but has experience and is competent. The utility has adequately trained operators. The main operator is not certified, but is working towards certification and has experience. The back-up operator is not certified, but is working to get certified, he also has experience. The Tribe has adopted a water utility ordinance that gives it the authority to operate, and it covers most of the aspects needed in a utility ordinance. Along with a collection policy, the ordinance includes policies on service area, level of service, customer agreements, the utility's responsibilities, the customers' responsibilities, billing procedures, shut-off procedures, and penalties for violating provisions of the ordinance.

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.
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".
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
The operators are working on achieving the necessary certification to operate the current utility. The KTC Administrator is not aware of any existing inventory control list or spare parts list.