Quarterly Report: 2009, October - December (Q2), Manokotak

Community:
Manokotak 
Staff:
Ralph Andrew  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
City of Manokotak 
Population:
431  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
2/13/2009 
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; 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:
RUBA maintained contact with City of Manokotak staff during the quarter as they worked to address several deficient RUBA management assessment indicators. In summary, city staff is working to resolve several deficient essential indicators and anticipates resolution by the end of January 2009. RUBA provided support to city staff, primarily with monthly financial reporting and budget recommendations. The Village Safe Water (VSW) engineer assigned to the community was in contact with city staff to encourage them to address and resolve deficient essential indicators. RUBA maintains contact with the VSW engineer concerning the status of the RUBA Assessment. City staff continue reviewing and addressing recommendations RUBA offered after an onsite RUBA Assessment in September 2008 including preparations for a water/sewer rate analysis. The city requested a water/sewer rate analysis in late December 2008 which will be scheduled next quarter. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA will maintain contact with city officials and continue providing assistance upon request including support with a water/sewer rate analysis.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
23 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
20 of 27
Total Score:
43 of 53

Finances

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.
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.
Yes 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 City's FY 2009 water/sewer budget is realistic with respect to projected expenditures but forecasted revenue as listed falls short of budgeted expenditures. RUBA recommended an amendment to the water/sewer budget. The city plans to amend the water/sewer budget shortly to incorporate additional revenue from state revenue sharing funding. RUBA will update this report upon confirmation of adoption of a balanced budget. The water/sewer monthly financial report through November 2008 reflects strong revenues and indicates effective collections efforts. With assistance from RUBA, the city administrator made minor corrections to the budget figures column in the monthly financial report during the quarter using a automated spreadsheet provided by RUBA. The administrator provides monthly financial reports at city council meetings and utilizes QuickBooks accounting software and spreadsheets for bookkeeping. The utility is current on electric bills. City fuel supplies are reportedly sufficient. The administrator provides a monthly utility manager report to the city council and voiced plans to direct the water operator to attend future city council meetings. The utility's fuel supply is said to be sufficient.

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.
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. Revenues through November 2008 are covering expenditures by a wide margin demonstrating enforcement of the collection policy. Staff bills customers consistently and enforces collections by issuing disconnection notices to customers with past due balances. Staff use Quickbooks accounting software for bookkeeping including payroll processing and accounts payable. RUBA continues to recommend staff reconcile bank accounts each month.

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.
No 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
A prior quarter report from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service indicates the City is compliant with federal tax obligations. However, RUBA awaits written permission from the city to confirm current compliance with federal tax obligations and will update this report upon confirmation. Concerning state ESC tax obligations, an October 20, 2008 Department of Labor report indicates compliance through the quarter ending September 30, 2008. Staff utilize QuickBooks accounting software to process payroll.

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 workers' compensation notice of insurance purchased through the Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association is current through July 1, 2009. The city administrator reviewed the personnel policy with assistance from AML/JIA staff in recent quarters. The city's personnel policy includes an evaluation process and a written hiring process. A probationary period for new hires is utilized but can be improved by formally adding it to the personnel policy. 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, meets regularly, and actively enforces utility policy. The City manages the water/sewer system following a utility ordinance on file with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. The ordinance includes a comprehensive collection policy. Staff are trained, certified, and participate in training opportunities. The city provided an organizational chart to RUBA in September 2008. 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 are trained and utilize a preventative maintenance plan. The City submitted its 2007 water quality Consumer Confidence Report timely. Water operator staff maintain a comprehensive inventory control and critical spare parts list. The utility has not suffered any major outages. RUBA encourages the city to hold regular safety meetings.