Quarterly Report: 2013, October - December (Q2), 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 was 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 October 15, Dillingham RUBA staff traveled to Manokotak and met with the city administrator, city clerk, and utilities manager to discuss RUBA reporting requirements and assist the utility in meeting the RUBA indicators. Currently, the utilities manager and city administrator are using separate QuickBooks files for reporting. RUBA staff emphasized the need for a central QuickBooks file for budgeting and financial reporting. The city does not maintain a water/wastewater utility budget and is unable to track revenues and expenditures for monthly financial reporting. The RUBA QuickBooks contractor was contacted for assistance updating and networking the QuickBooks files on a central server. While on-site, RUBA staff attended a public meeting to discuss utility rates and why utility rates should be increased to cover costs of operation. RUBA and Village Safe Water staff presented information to council members and approximately 50 community members. RUBA staff will continue to assist the utility as requested.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will be traveling to the City of Manokotak will continue to offer assistance in developing a water/wastewater utility. RUBA staff will continue to monitor networking of QuickBooks and schedule a trip this quarter to monitor progress.
Essential Indicators:
20 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
18 of 27
Total Score:
38 of 53


Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No The utility has adopted a balanced realistic budget.
No 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
A copy of payments for water/wastewater utility was provided. Quarterly Financial statements for the water/wastewater utility were not provided. Currently there are 109 residential users paying $20 per month and Southwestern Schools is paying $365 per month which equals a total of $2,545 in utility revenue per month. Manokotak has been working on collecting on delinquent accounts. At $20 per month the water/wastewater utility is critically underfunded. A RUBA rate study indicated that $98.55 should be charged per residential unit and $424.33 for Southwestern Schools unit would be the breakeven point for the cost of maintaining the water/wastewater utility. The water/wastewater utility should be collecting $10,673.53 per month for the utility to break even. Calculations show that city is subsidizing the water/waste water utility $9,712.67 per month.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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
The city administrator is working with RUBAs QuickBooks contractor on networking QuickBooks. George Wilson, Village Safe Water Engineered assisted in networking computers and provided funding from their grant to purchase network licenses for QuickBooks and funding for extra hours to transfer data to a central server. Once this is completed, reports meeting RUBAs criteria for good business practices will be met. In reviewing payment history, there is not consistent enforcement in collecting delinquent water/wastewater utility accounts.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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
Staff utilizes QuickBooks accounting software to process payroll. Staff utilizes QuickBooks accounting software to process payroll. On 12/21/13 the Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) reported compliance with Alaska ESC tax obligations for the quarter ending 9/30/2012.

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 Division of Worker's Compensation website on 12/27/12 indicated policy #168 for the city is active. Job descriptions are on file. 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 and meets regularly. Utility Billing is done on a monthly basis. The city is using Cornerstone Credit Services assist in collecting delinquent accounts. The city administrator is working with the city council to update and amend their utility ordinance, utility rates, and collection policies. City staffing has been very stable. The city maintains an organizational chart. Meeting minutes for October, November, and December were provided and are on file.

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 12/31/2013 Water operator staff maintains inventory and critical spare parts list. RUBA recommends regular safety meetings. The utility is not listed on the Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list.