Quarterly Report: 2011, January - March (Q3), 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/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 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 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:
Dillingham RUBA staff traveled to Manokotak on January 25-26, 2011 to complete a RUBA management assessment. While onsite, RUBA staff noted that the utility billing was not current, however this was later corrected in February. The administrator and utility manger computers are networked for ease of maintaining accounting information. The administrator is researching purchasing a new computer and the manager's computer is outdated and causes problems. Currently the utilities budget is maintained on a excel spreadsheet. Manokotak is working with the RUBA sponsored QuickBooks contractors to update their QuickBooks File. Billing had not occured from October through January due to staff turnover and computer issues. There is also a problem with delinquent accounts. Manokotak is considering the purchase of a credit card machine through Wells Fargo to aid in utility bill collections. The administrator is currently performing employee evaluations and updating records. In August, construction of the upgrade of their water sanitation project and relocation of their landfill started. The project is on a three year plan. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will work closely with city officials; and will continue providing assistance upon request.
Essential Indicators:
21 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
20 of 27
Total Score:
41 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.
No Monthly financial reports are prepared and submitted to the policy making board.
No 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.
Yes A monthly manager's report is prepared.
Yes Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
Revenues for utilities is split between the excel spreadsheet and their QuickBooks files. This has made reports hard to read. The utility was not billing from October through January due to staff turnover and computer issues. Financial reports are now current but are hard to read. All financial transactions except utilities are done by QuickBooks. The utility is managed by using an Excel spread sheet. The administrator is working on consolidating the utility budget in QuickBooks. Manokotak is considering buying a new computer for the administrator as the current one is very old. Manokotak is considering installing a credit card machine in April to use in collecting utility bill payments. The City of Manokotak is not current in paying all water/waste water electric bills. The city manager has signed a payment plan using sales tax revenue to pay the debt owed to Manokotak Electric. Currently revenues exceed expenditures by $310.00.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has adopted a collection policy and actively follows it.
No 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.
Yes 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 utility did not bill between October and January due to staff turnover and computer issues. Bills were sent out in late January. The indicator will be changed to yes after three months of consecutive bills have been issued. The city's water/sewer ordinance includes collections procedures. Collections rates are at approximately 73%. Part of this is due to partial service for many customers. Currently the utility manager is working on payment plans for customers who have deliquent accounts. The utility manager is currently using QuickBooks for utility billing. Even though QuickBooks is networked, the information from the utility manager is reentered in an excel spreadsheet maintained by the administrator. This makes consolidating financial reports difficult. The utility manager is now current with billing.

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 utilizes QuickBooks accounting software to process payroll. On March 9, 2011 the Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) reported compliance with Alaska ESC tax obligations for the quarter ending December 31, 2010. On March 23, 2011 the Tax Pay Advocate deemed Manokotak compliant. Manonkotak has no recorded liens at this time.

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 March 9, 2011 indicated policy #168 for the city is active. The city's personnel policy includes an evaluation process and a written hiring process. Job descriptions are on file. Manokotak is in the process of doing yearly evaluations of their employees. 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.
No The policy making body is active in policy making of the utility.
No 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. The city council did not ensure that monthly utility bill were provided and has not enforced the collections policy. They were informed of this requirement and are active in changing the management processes. If bills are sent for three consecutive months and collections are enforced for three consecutive months, these indicators will not longer be deficient. The city manages the water/wastewater 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. 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 is trained and utilizes a preventative maintenance plan. Water operator staff maintains a comprehensive inventory control and critical spare parts list. RUBA recommends regular safety meetings. The utility is not listed on the Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list.