Quarterly Report: 2010, October - December (Q2), Tyonek

Community:
Tyonek 
Staff:
Tammy Helms  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Federally Recognized Tribe 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Native Village of Tyonek 
Population:
199  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
2/22/2010 
Community Sanitation Overview:
A piped water and sewer system serves the entire community -- aproximately 90 homes and facilities. Water is derived from Second Lake, is treated and stored in a 175,000-gal. tank. Back-up water supplies are available from a lake near the airport. The community wants to develop a groundwater source. A small coin-operated washeteria, with one washer and dryer, is available. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Recently the Native Village of Tyonek signed an agreement with the Alaska Rural Utilities Collabrative (ARUC) program ran by Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). As of October the ARUC program will have responsibility of all the utility financial, managerial, and techinical operations. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
The Native Village of Tyonek has met all of the essential capacity indicators. It is recommended that the Native Village of Tyonek continue working towards meeting all of the sustainable indicators.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
27 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
25 of 27
Total Score:
52 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
The Native Village of Tyonek has a utility budget for this fiscal year as well as program budgets for the tribal programs they administer. The tribe has recently had turnover in key staff members. Efforts to fill those positions resulted in the tribe hiring a new tribal administrator and securing the accounting firm QuickPro Accounting out of Anchorage. QuickPro has been contracted to streamline the accounting system, switch from MYOB software to QuickBooks and train the new bookkeeper when one is hired as well as cross train with the utility manager. The community receives electricity from Chugach Electric Association. All bills are current. The Native Village of Tyonek has a 3,000gal. holding tank for diesel fuel and a 3,000 gal tank for gas. All fuel is flown in. As of 2/24/09 fuel prices were: Gasoline- $5.25/gal Diesel- $4.25/gal. Tyonek has a billing agreement with ANTHC for their water/wastewater utility. ANTHC is reporting a current collection rate of 92%. Residential customers are charged a monthly rate of $37.40, the school rate is $300 and the commercial rate is $100. Section 2.15 of the Native Village of Tyonek water and sewer ordinance outlines the administration and enforcement of the water and sewer utility. It states 'Monies collected for water, sewer, and waste disposal services shall be used strictly for maintenance, extension, repair, capital improvement, and operation of the water, sewer and waste disposal systems. Monies will be accounted for separately by the Tribal Council.'

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
Section 2.14 of the Native Village of Tyonek water and sewer ordinance clearly addresses billing and payment procedures. Section 2.16 addresses discontinuance procedures however, since partnering with ANTHC for the billing, more customers are paying their bills and those who do not are disconnected. As previously stated, Tyonek has a billing agreement with ANTHC for their water/wastewater utility. Currently, the tribe utilizes the accounting software MYOB which can accurately track customers and report past due accounts and amounts, as well as accounts payable and payroll. However, the accounting firm recently hired to help the tribe will be switching the tribe over to QuickBooks Pro as MYOB is not user friendly and costs more to maintain. To purchase equipment or supplies there must be prior approval by the Administrator. When a purchase is approved a check request form must also be submitted to the Administrator for signature then turned in to the accounting personnel for payment.

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 Native Village of Tyonek owes federal taxes for the first and third quarters of 2008. In speaking with Alison Rogers of QuickPro Accounting, the tribe has requested and received an extension in order to solve the inaccuracies. The council is paying current liabilities on time and has reason to believe the payroll was overstated in prior quarters which lead to gaps in payment amounts. The Department of Labor has responded that the Tyonek Council is current with the reporting and payment requirements to their department.

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 utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy through Alaska National Insurance Company that is valid from March 2009- March 2010. The utility has adopted and uses a personnel policy. It is reviewed yearly and updated as the council deems necessary. All employee personnel folders contain the employee's application, letter of acceptance, as well as any disciplinary action or acknowledgement. The accounting office keeps all employee I-9 and W-4s. The utility has a probationary period for new hires. The probationary period is 90 days. At the end of the probationary period a personnel evaluation is completed. Evaluations are completed annually thereafter. The council relies on various entities for training needs: ANTHC, Village Safe Water, Cook Inlet Tribal Council and RUBA.

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 Native Village of Tyonek is known as the entity that owns and operates the utility, and is active in policy making for the utility. The utility manager has attended three utility management training classes sponsored by the RUBA program and has been employed for ten years. The current utility operator is trained and has passed the Provisional Level 1 test for water treatment and distribution. In 2005, the council adopted a water and sewer ordinance. Council meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month. Agendas are mailed to the council members a minimum of 24 hours prior to the meeting and a notice is posted in the tribal center. The utility has adopted a detailed organizational chart that reflects the current structure. A copy of the organizational chart was provided to RUBA staff.

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.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
As previously stated, the current utility operator is trained and has passed the Provisional Level 1 test for water treatment and distribution. The tribe has two backup operators. One currently holds a Provisional Level 1 in water distribution and the other is actively working towards certification. In speaking with the ANTHC project manager, he stated there is a preventative maintenance plan for the existing system and a new preventative plan will be created for the new system when complete. Historically, the utility operator reports to the administrator or utility manager when there is a problem or he can foresee one. Regularly scheduled safety meetings currently are provided by ANTHC staff. The Native Village of Tyonek has prepared and distributed the CCR report for 2008. Tyonek is not currently on the SNC list. The utility operator and council attempt to keep needed critical spare parts on hand but they currently have no actual written list.