Quarterly Report: 2007, October - December (Q2), 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:
RUBA traveled to Manokotak October 12, 2006 to provide technical assistance to city staff as they work to resolve deficient RUBA assessment indicators. Most of the deficient indicators appear resolved, including improved revenue, collections, and financial recordkeeping; accounting for receivables and payables still has room for improvement. The city's present water/sewer rate of $40 per month has reportedly been in place for over 20 years. RUBA reiterated an offer to conduct a water/sewer rate analysis. The city's two water systems remain on the State DEC Significant Non-Compliance list for violations related to RAD's according to a December 2006 report. Efforts are underway to resolve the violations with assistance from the Remote Maintenance Worker. The city hired a new city clerk, elections were completed, village health clinic construction is progressing, and the new airport project is starting as contractors began clearing brush for a road to the site. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will maintain contact with the city and continue documenting progress as they prepare for the Village Safe Water-managed water/sewer renovation project scheduled to start as early as next spring.
Essential Indicators:
26 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
14 of 27
Total Score:
40 of 54


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.
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
The city produced a balanced water/sewer budget for FY 2007. The budget is improved over prior years and now includes a more realistic projected expenditure for critical spare parts. The administrator's monthly financial reports, produced with QuickBooks, can be improved upon entry of the budget and accounts payable data to facilitate presentation of year-to-date figures. RUBA continues to recommend the water operator provide monthly reports to the city council as well. The utility appears current on bills and has fuel sufficient through spring. Water/sewer customer collections and associated revenue show improvement and are sufficient to cover operating expenses.

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.
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 includes collections procedures and utility collections continue to improve, thanks to enforcement by the administrator. Bills are mailed monthly and disconnection notices are sent based on policy. City staff continues gaining proficiency with QuickBooks and have made improvements to the accounts receivable system but still need to improve their accounts payable system by entering bills into QuickBooks. Payroll recordkeeping is satisfactory. Staff should reconcile bank accounts and ensure proposed expenditures fall within budget based on analysis of year-to-date figures.

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 of Manokotak calculates, tracks, and reports payroll tax liabilities with QuickBooks accounting software. An October 13, 2006 report from the IRS indicated the city is compliant with federal tax obligations. Based on payment information provided to RUBA in mid-October, the city's Alaska Department of Labor unemployment tax payments and reports are current.

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
Staff indicated the present workers compensation insurance is paid in full. RUBA received written confirmation of the insurance coverage January 9, 2007. Staff continues to review the personnel policy and job descriptions with input from RUBA and AML. Personnel folder content has improved and now contains I-9 forms.

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 manages the water/sewer system and adopted a water/sewer ordinance approved by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska that includes policy on billing, collections, customer complaints, and level of service. Administrative and utility staff are adequately trained and the city hired a qualified city clerk during the quarter.

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.
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 for ongoing operations. Utility facilities have not suffered any major operational problems. The city's two water systems remain listed in the ADEC Significant Non-Compliance list for RAD's; city staff continues to work towards compliance. The Consumer Confidence Report was submitted in a prior quarter with assistance from the regional health corporation RMW. Water operator staff maintain an inventory control and critical spare parts list. Utility management can improve with O/M spot checks and periodic safety meetings.