Quarterly Report: 2009, January - March (Q3), Emmonak

Hazel Keezer  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Second Class City 
Agreement Date:
City of Emmonak 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
The City of Emmonak owns and operates the piped water/sewer system. The City also owns and operates the washeteria/sauna. Construction of a new washeteria is completed. The city council is the policy making body for this utility. Water is derived from the Yukon river and is treated. Piped water and sewer services are provided to most of the residents of Emmonak. Currently, there are 206 connections to this system. Out of those connected, there are 185 residential homes and 23 businesses in service. The next water/sewer Village Safe Water funding will connect six new Emmonak tribal housing units. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
Bethel RUBA staff traveled in January of 2009 with Division of Community and Regional Affairs Director Tara Jollie and other state officials on a fact finding mission to Emmonak and Kotlik. Emmonak resident Nicholas Tucker wrote a letter requesting state assistance for local residents unable to meet the high costs of fuel and food. State officials heard testimony from many residents in both villages that are going through this hardship because of the King Salmon commercial fishery closures last summer coupled with the high costs of fuel and food. The impact of all this became more severe by the extreme cold spell in December and January. RUBA staff was contacted by the city mayor asking for an opinion regarding the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Alaska Rural Utilities Collaborative (ARUC) program. RUBA stated that Emmonak has been able to run the utilities on their own and that the city would no longer have control over their utilities if they joined. Emmonak to this date continues to run their own water and sewer utilities. City Manager Leon Kiana contacted the Bethel Office regarding electric and fuel bills and asked for assistance in researching possible funding sources for operations and maintenance bills. The manager stated the school district and fish processing plant had outstanding bills owed the city that were significant amounts. It was suggested that he contact the school and fishery for collections. RUBA provided additional assistance to Emmonak regarding elections question, economic development issues and possible reductions in staff or hours of city service.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff is available to provide assistance with any management capacity indicators that are not being met.
Essential Indicators:
21 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
19 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.
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.
No Budget amendments are completed and adopted as necessary.
Finances Comments
The city manager provided a copy of the city's budget in February of 2009. The budget was amended and adopted in December of 2008. The monthly financial reports received for January and February of 2009 show that budgeted line items were added. The council has not been given the monthly reports or the amendments that were made to the budget to show added expenditures. A winter fuel purchase of 8,111 gallons was made and delivered for the utility. A written manager's report has not been provided to the council.

Accounting Systems

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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.
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 city manager contacted RUBA staff stating that the school and local fishery have delinquent accounts. The amounts owed has effected the city's ability to pay Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC). QuickBooks is used for payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable and utility billing. A copy of the purchase order utilized was provided. Purchase orders require written approval from the manager or the bookkeeper. The purchase order form includes who requests the purchase, the department, account, and unit price.

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
IRS reported this quarter that the city was is compliant with filing and deposit requirements. There is no record of tax liens for the city. The Alaska Department of Labor reported that the city is current with state ESC tax requirements.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility has a posted workers compensation insurance policy in effect.
Sustainable Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
Yes 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
Emmonak is covered through Umialik Insurance Co. effective 7/08 to 7/09. They have adopted a personnel policy that includes sections for hiring, evaluation, and probation. Vacant positions are posted until filled. New hires are on a probationary period for three months. The city manager and city council have the authority to hire. The Emmonak city council screens and hires for the positions of police chief, clerk, treasurer and city attorney.

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.
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 of Emmonak is known as the provider for water and sewer services and has adopted an ordinance that authorizes it to operate. The city manager position was filled recently. The bookkeeper worked in accounts payable prior to taking the position as the city's full- time bookkeeper. The water operator currently holds Water Distribution 2, Wastewater Treatment 1, and Wastewater Collection 1 certificates. There is no record of council meetings that were held in February.

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.
Yes 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
The utility is listed on the Significant non-Compliance list for stage 1 violations. Monthly operator reports are not being submitted with sufficient data or in a timely manner despite repeated compliance assistance actions. A water and sewer operational manual was provided. The manual had daily and monthly systems routines in place. The water operator currently holds Water Distribution, 2 Wastewater, Treatment 1, and Wastewater Collection 1 certificates.