Quarterly Report: 2010, July - September (Q1), Manokotak

Barbara Higgins  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Manokotak 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City operates two water/sewer systems in Manokotak, one at the village site and another at the Manokotak Heights area. Water is derived from two wells, is treated and stored in a 150,000-gallon water storage tank. A piped water and sewer system, constructed in 1972, serves roughly 68 households and the school with complete plumbing. Approximately two homes and a duplex have individual wells. Manokotak Heights, located 4 miles to the south, is served by a city-operated well and treatment system; water shortages have occurred. New HUD housing units were built in 2000 and roughly six additional units were completed in recent months. The school, located at the Heights, operates its own water and sewer system serving the school and one teacher housing unit. A feasibility study to examine water, sewer and landfill improvements was completed in late 2004. A water/sewer system renovation project is in the design stage with project management provided by Village Safe Water. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
New RUBA staff was assigned to Manakotak during the quarter. This report will be updated to reflect current status of RUBA indicators. RUBA maintained contact with City of Manokotak staff during the quarter as they worked to maintain satisfactory RUBA management assessment indicators. At present, the city is satisfying most but not all RUBA essential indicators. During the quarter RUBA provided support to city staff, primarily with monthly financial reporting, federal tax matters, and water/wastewater collections efforts. RUBA provided recommendations at the request of the city administrator on matters related to summer youth employment programs. RUBA plans to conduct a rate analysis in the coming quarter at the request of the city. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will maintain contact with city officials, continue providing assistance upon request, and continue preparations for a water/sewer rate analysis in the coming quarter.
Essential Indicators:
26 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
20 of 27
Total Score:
46 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 FY 2010 water/sewer budget is balanced and realistic with respect to projected revenue and expenditures. The August 2009 water/sewer monthly financial report lists year to date revenues are greater than expenditures by 640. The administrator provides monthly financial reports at city council meetings and utilizes QuickBooks accounting software as well as spreadsheets for bookkeeping. The utility is current on electric bills. City fuel supplies are sufficient. The administrator provides a monthly utility manager report to the city council and voiced plans to direct the water operator to attend future city council meetings.

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.
No Monthly bank reconciliations have been completed for all utility accounts.
No 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 City's water/sewer ordinance includes collections procedures. Revenues through August 2009 are covering expenditures indicating enforcement of the collection policy. Staff bills customers consistently and enforces collections by issuing disconnection notices to customers with past due balances. Staff use Quickbooks accounting software for bookkeeping including payroll processing and accounts payable. RUBA continues to recommend staff reconcile bank 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
Staff utilize QuickBooks accounting software to process payroll. A quarter report from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service dated 09/24/2009 indicated the City was compliant with all federal tax obligations. On September 21, 2009 the Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) confirmed the city is meeting Alaska ESC tax obligations for the quarter ending June 30, 2009.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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 workers' compensation notice of insurance purchased through the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association is current through September 24, 2009. The city administrator reviewed the personnel policy with assistance from AML/JIA staff in recent quarters. The city's personnel policy includes an evaluation process and a written hiring process. A probationary period for new hires is utilized but can be improved by formally adding it to the personnel policy. Job descriptions are on file however, RUBA recommends annual review, a process which can be coordinated at the same time performance evaluations are completed. The city budgets for and provides training opportunities to staff.

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 city council serves as the utility board, meets regularly, and actively enforces utility policy. The City manages the water/sewer system following a utility ordinance on file with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. The ordinance includes a comprehensive collection policy. Staff, including the water operator, are trained, certified, and participate in training opportunities. City staffing has been very stable with the exception of the city clerk position. The city maintains an organizational chart. The city council meets as required.

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.
No 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.
Yes The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
Water operator staff are trained and utilize a preventative maintenance plan. The water operator has been in contact with Village Safe Water and an engineering firm to plan a leak study and other analyses related to the utility. The City submitted its 2008 water quality Consumer Confidence Report timely. Water operator staff maintain a comprehensive inventory control and critical spare parts list. The utility has not suffered any major outages. RUBA recommends regular safety meetings.