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Rural Utility Business Advisor (RUBA) Program
State of Alaska > Commerce > DCRA > Rural Utility Business Advisor (RUBA) Program
Alaska Natives in DogsledThrough the RUBA Program, management assistance and financial training related to water and wastewater utilities is provided to cities and villages. The Program began in FY94 with assistance being offered to 16 communities. The demand for RUBA assistance increased and now over 40 communities are being provided with direct administrative and utility management training. Regional workshops on financial record keeping, utility management, and utility planning are offered to many communities, in addition to the on-site visits by RUBA staff.

The RUBA Program's approach to assisting communities:

  Identify communities with sanitation utility management issues
  Assess community interest in dealing with management issues

Visit community for fact-finding

  Assess the issues and identify management problems
  Develop a proposed work plan
  Present the assessment and work plan to the community
  Finalize the work plan with the community's council and agree on their responsibilities
  Provide technical assistance
  Assess progress and adjust work plan if necessary

How RUBA works

RUBA staff provide assistance to small rural communities statewide that are preparing to receive new or upgraded sanitation systems. RUBAs are supported by the division's Local Government Specialists (LGSs), Project Engineers from Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation, community administrators, regional health corporations, and regional non-profit corporations. The RUBA person assesses a community's ability to provide management and administration of sanitation utilities.

Based on the assessment, a work plan and budget are developed to deal with the problems. The work plan is revised periodically to reflect changing conditions. Efforts to bring communities up to an acceptable management performance standard are tracked. Continued RUBA assistance to these communities depends on the community meeting a baseline level of progress towards improvement. Councils in all communities must sign a RUBA Agreement that outlines the services the division will provide and stipulates the actions the community must take and continue to provide in
order to receive the RUBA assistance.

RUBA Information Systems

Training Available with RUBA
RUBA Quarterly Reports
Community Photo Library
RUBA Training Information System

RUBA Publications Online

RUBA Program Evaluation, 2007
Business Planning for Rural Alaska Utilities
Note: The documents below must be viewed and printed with Adobe Acrobat.
You can download a copy of this application free at: Adobe Acrobat READER
The Water Rate Calculator Guidebook 2008 (1.51 mb)
An Agency Guide to Community Tax Issues (253 k)

REVISED:"A Plain English Guide to Alaska Drinking Water and Wastewater Regulations" developed by Commerce/RUBA in coordination with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, June 2002 (1.44 mb)

Alaska Sanitation Planning Guide for Small Communities (10.8 mb)

For more information about the RUBA program, contact:

Elizabeth Manfred
Division of Community and Regional Affairs

Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1640
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-4556 FAX: (907) 269-4563