Quarterly Report: 2011, April - June (Q4), Ekwok

Robert Madeson  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Ekwok 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Individual wells provide water for the majority of the community. Approximately 20 HUD homes have individual wells and are connected to a piped septic system. The City operates a piped sewage system with sewage lift station, which connects to a portion of the community, roughly 16 residences. The remaining homes use septic systems or a flush/haul system. The city operates a sewage pumper. Roughly thirty six of 42 homes have complete plumbing. Landfill services are available at no charge. Ekwok Electric, a city-owned utility, provides electricity services. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
RUBA staff has attempted to contact the city administrator on the current RUBA report, IRS issues, PCE reporting, and a new utility ordinance throughout the quarter, however over 27 emails, voice mails, and faxes have not been returned. Staff has also attempted to coordinate the city with the RUBA QuickBooks contractors to automate paying payroll taxes. RUBA staff has been waiting on information needed for the RUBA report from the administrator. Ekwok has voted for AVEC to take over the Electric Utility. Currently Ekwok owes $524,657 in Bulk Fuel loans. Village Safe Water and Aurora are still trying to work with Ekwok on their sewer project. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to offer assistance for the community of Ekwok. RUBA staff will continue to try to work closely with Ekwok and Village Safe Water on meeting the requirements for their sewer project. RUBA staff participated in a council meeting with Village Safe Water in March by teleconference. VSW, Aurora Consulting, and RUBA staff stated that it is critical to stay current on RUBA.
Essential Indicators:
14 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
11 of 27
Total Score:
25 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.
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.
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.
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
The FY10 water/wastewater budget is not balanced or realistic. There is $524,657 due for bulk fuel loans. The administration is capable of generating monthly financial reports. RUBA staff has not received a financial report since November 2011. Monthly finance reports were not received this quarter and requests for these and other documentation were not responded to. Indicators will be reevaluated when documents are received.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
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
Without current monthly finance reprots, RUBA is unable to determine if bills were created on a regular basis and the collection policy is being enforced. Currently the City of Ekwok is using a manual ledger system for keeping track of accounts payable. Ledgers are maintained for Bulk Fuel, General Expenses, Utilities, and Deposits and Checks. A ledger is also maintained for bills that are received. Electricity is paid by a prepaid metering system. Money and receipts from the Bulk Fuel Farm are brought to the city administrator on a weekly basis. Receipts are stored at city hall and a ledger is maintained at the Bulk Fuel Farm. Ekwok will be working with RUBA sponsored QuickBooks contractors to set up accounts payable in QuickBooks. The City of Ekwok is researching grants to update their prepaid metering system.

Tax Problems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
On April 27, 2011, the Alaska Department of Labor (DOL) reported non-compliance with Alaska ESC tax obligations for quarter ending March 31, 2011. Ekwok is not listed on the lien watch. The lien watch reports reports prior liens were released for March-April 2011.

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.
Yes 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 web-site verifies current coverage on June 6, 2011. The utility uses the city's personnel handbook, however it has not been reviewed by an attorney, Alaska Municipal League (AML) or Commerce for topics and language. The city ordinances include job descriptions for utility staff. RUBA recommends job descriptions be reviewed at least annually. The city administrator and RUBA reviewed employee files onsite during the quarter. The administrator has updated personnel files and personal data is locked in a file cabinet with a hasp.

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.
No The utility has an adequately trained manager.
No 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.
No 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 operates under a water/wastewater ordinance. Until the administrator is able to create and submit monthly reports and maintain contact with the VSW engineer and RUBA staff to document that management skills are in place, this essential indicator is and the bookkeeper indicator are unable to be marked in compliance. The administrator also serves as the utility manager. The electric utility manager is also trained and serves as the primary water operator.

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.
No Utility facilities have not suffered any major problems/outages due to management issues that are unresolved.
No The utility is operating at the level of service that was proposed.
No 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
The city is not listed on the Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list. The city is not required to have a certified water operator or wastewater operator at this time. Sanitation utility staff have been trained in the use of heavy equipment. RUBA recommends that staff providing septic pumping services receive basic training including safety procedures. A preventative maintenance plan is in place. RUBA recommends safety meetings be held no less than monthly. The village council operates a summer-only watering point located centrally in Ekwok. RUBA recommends the city stock and maintain a more comprehensive inventory and critical spare parts list including spare tires for the septic pumper.