Quarterly Report: 2007, July - September (Q1), Manokotak

Ralph Andrew  
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, but water shortages have occurred. New HUD housing units were built in 2000 and roughly six additional units are near completion. The school, located in the Heights area, 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 design and construction may start as early as summer 2007. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
During the quarter RUBA offered ongoing assistance to City staff as they worked to resolve deficient RUBA assessment indicators. City staff was fairly responsive to RUBA's offers of assistance later in the quarter upon their return from summer leave. RUBA offered detailed instructions related to each indicator, and offered ongoing assistance with accounts receivable, accounts payable, and revenues. Concerning the City's draft FY 2007 water/sewer budget, RUBA pointed out the budget presented estimated expenditures but did not present anticipated revenues. The City opted to increase the water/sewer budget Supply line item at RUBA's recommendation to recognize the need for critical spare parts. Mid-quarter, the City Administrator was still assembling the FY 2007 budget and FY 2006 Certified Financial Statements (CFS). The Administrator indicated the water/sewer department may have over-expended its FY 2006 budget. RUBA awaits confirmation of an adopted city and utility budget. Water/sewer utility collections efforts continue in earnest and staff were anticipating sending out fewer disconnection notices. The City's two water systems remain on the State DEC Significant Non-compliance List reports for RAD's according to an August 18, 2006 report published by Alaska DEC. Concerning personnel, the City Clerk resigned late in the quarter. The City advertised for the position, is reviewing four applicants, and is expected to make a hiring decision by mid-October 2006. The City continues review of its personnel handbook. Concerning training, staff expressed interest in grant and upcoming RUBA training opportunities. In other city business, RUBA provided assistance with municipal election preparations.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
Late in the quarter the City requested onsite assistance with RUBA Assessment follow-up. RUBA will plan travel to the community in mid-October 2006.
Essential Indicators:
22 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
11 of 27
Total Score:
33 of 54


Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes All revenues and expenses for the utility are listed in the utility budget.
No 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.
No 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.
Yes 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
RUBA reviewed the City's draft water/sewer budget for FY 2007. The budget was balanced and RUBA suggested the supply line item be increased to help ensure funds are allocated to critical spare parts. The City Administrator's monthly reports are satisfactory and RUBA continues to recommend that the water operator provide monthly reports to the City Council as well. The utility appears current on bills and has fuel supplies sufficient through fall. Water/sewer customer collections are said to be improving. However, the FY 2006 water/sewer expenditures, according to the administrator, were over-expended. RUBA awaits confirmation of revenue and expense figures.

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.
No 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
No 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 addresses collections and according to staff, utility collections continue to improve. City staff continue gaining proficiency with QuickBooks and worked to make improvements to the city's accounting system with onsite assistance from a CPA. RUBA awaits confirmation of the improvements to the accounts receivable and accounts payable systems. Payroll recordkeeping is satisfactory. Staff should continue to make efforts to improve bank reconciliation and purchasing procedures that compare proposed expenditures with the budget.

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 City calculates, tracks, and reports payroll tax liabilities with Quickbooks accounting software. A May 10, 2006 report from the IRS indicated the city is compliant with federal tax requirements.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
No 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
RUBA requested confirmation of the City's worker's compensation insurance coverage; the latest policy was in effect through July 1, 2006. Staff continue to review the personnel policy with input from RUBA and AML.

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
No 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 manages the water/sewer system and adopted a Regulatory Commission of Alaska-approved water/sewer ordinance that includes policy and procedures including billing, collections, customer complaints, and level of service details. Staff are adequately trained, however, the City is presently recruiting for a vacant City Clerk position. The City Administrator is covering clerk duties satisfactorily.

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
No 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".
No 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
Water operator staff are trained and utilize a preventative maintenance for ongoing operations. Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems according to staff. The City's two water systems remain listed in the ADEC Significant Non-compliance for RAD's; city staff continue to work towards compliance. The Consumer Confidence Report was submitted last quarter with assistance from the regional health corporation. Water operator staff can improve their reporting to the City Council and are to confirm the use of an inventory control and critical spare parts list.