Quarterly Report: 2014, July - September (Q1), Manokotak

Robert Madeson  
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/wastewater 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 wastewater 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 four 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 wastewater system, serving the school and one teacher housing unit. A feasibility study to examine water, wastewater and landfill improvements were completed in late 2004. A water/wastewater system renovation project is in the design stage with project management provided by Village Safe Water.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On September 10, Dillingham RUBA staff traveled to Manokotak to meet with the city administrator to review the citys FY14 operating budget, which includes the water and wastewater utility. RUBA staff created a customized Excel spreadsheet for reporting actual revenues and expenditures compared to the FY14 budget. The spreadsheet also calculates remaining balances for each line item, as well as collection rates for the water/wastewater utility. RUBA staff showed the administrator, utility clerk, and council members the correct procedure for rate setting and estimating utility income, and reviewed procedures for handling delinquent accounts as outlined in the city ordinances. Staff recommended the utility clerk provide the administrator with a monthly accounts receivable report to include the total amount owed on delinquent accounts. Staff also provided a sample ordinance and proposition for exempting municipal officers from the requirement for filing financial disclosure statements with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. Other assistance throughout the quarter included meeting with the project engineer for the Manokotak's water/wastewater utility project in August. The engineer contacted RUBA staff about a meeting he had with the mayor, city administrator, utilities clerk, and council members. The project administrator emphasized to city staff the importance of meeting the RUBA essential indicators and explained failure to meet the RUBA essential indicators could jeopardize the completion of the water/wastewater utility project. RUBA staff assured the engineer that they would continue to work with the city administrator and utilities clerk on meeting the RUBA essential indicators. On August 22, the Manokotak mayor contacted RUBA staff about a financial report the city administrator provided the city council. The financial reporting problems center on computer networking problems and the accidental deletion of the QuickBooks files. The city administrator has been unable to provide a financial report that accurately tracks the revenues and expenditures for the water/wastewater utility and compare them to budgeted amounts. The mayor and city council planned on having a special meeting to discuss these problems with the city administrator and utilities clerk. RUBA staff continues to offer assistance as needed.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff continues to provide assistance in updating financial records, ordinance codification, and assistance as needed.
Essential Indicators:
24 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
22 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
Yes 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.
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 water/wastewater utility budget is balanced and realistic. The City of Manokotak is using an Excel Spreadsheet provided by RUBA for financial reporting that shows spending versus actual budget, billing and revenues received and balances for each line item. There is sufficient heating fuel and gas for the winter.

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.
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
RUBA staff provided a customized Excel Spreadsheet for financial reporting. An Excel spreadsheet of customers billed and amounts collected was provided by the utilities clerk. Collection rate for the water/wastewater utility monthly billing and delinquent accounts from July through September is 104 percent. The water/wastewater utility bill is issued within three business days of each month as required by the utility's billing procedures. Invoices are entered when paid; new invoices are kept in a file for unpaid water/wastewater utility bills. Payments are made at the end of each week. The utilities clerk maintains a summary record of unpaid bills.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The utility has a system to accurately calculate, track, and report payroll tax liabilities.
No 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
The city administrator and utilities clerk utilizes QuickBooks accounting software to process payroll. On September 13, RUBA staff submitted the IRS tax release; RUBA staff has not received the Authorization of Federal Tax Information. The essential indicators will be marked no, until RUBA staff receives the tax information. On September 24, 2013 the Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) reported compliance with Alaska ESC tax obligations for the quarter ending June 31, 2013.

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.
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
According to the Notice of Insurance, workers compensation insurance is provided by the Alaska Municipal Joint Insurance A September 30 check of the Division of Workers Comp Website confirmed the policy for the city is in effect. Manokotak received an updated personnel policy and job descriptions from AML. RUBA staff has a digital copy on file. There are no written evaluations on file.

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 utility ordinance identifies the city as owner and operator of the utility. The city adopted the utility ordinance in October 2005. RUBA staff has a copy of the ordinance on file. Meeting minutes for the past three months indicate that the city council takes an active role in enforcing the utility policy. Utility Billing is done on a monthly basis. The city is using Cornerstone Credit Services to assist in collecting delinquent accounts. The city administrator has three years experience on the job. She is quite competent and maintains all of the accounting systems in a professional and timely manner. The utility is a Small Water Untreated System. According to the state website, the utility operator has the required level of training and certification for this system. The city's organizational chart was developed in 2005; it needs to be updated to reflect changes that have taken place since then. The meeting files and minutes confirm that agendas are posted and that all meetings are open to the public as required by the Open Meetings Act.

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 is currently certified through 12/31/2015. An inventory control and critical spare parts list is maintained by the operator. RUBA recommends regular safety meetings. The utility is not listed on the Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list. The city manager receives verbal updates from the operator at least once a week