Quarterly Report: 2007, July - September (Q1), Voznesenka Village

Community:
Voznesenka Village 
Staff:
Jimmy Smith  
DCRA Regional Office:
 
Gov't Type:
Community Council 
Borough:
 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Voznesenka Community Council, Incorporated 
Population:
275  
Assessment Status:
 
Assessment Date:
 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
11/29/2006 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Voznesenka is situated on a high bluff overlooking the upper end of Kachemak Bay. Russian Old Believers from Nikolaevsk, about 20 miles away, started the community in 1985, and although the community is unincorporated, a community mayor is selected. Voznesenka Community Council, Inc. (VCCI) is a non-profit corporation that receives and manages grant funding for sanitation projects. The Voznesenka Utility Board was established by VCCI to provide for the health and welfare of the residents of Voznesenka and to oversee and manage the Voznesenka water system. Most residences have wells, (approximately 38 homes) as does the school, and all have individual onsite wastewater systems. Voznesenka is partially served by a community water system originally constructed in 1990 by community members. The source for this water system is surface water from a small drainage off the east fork of Falls Creek. The watershed is owned mostly by private individuals, making protection from contamination difficult, and significant bacterial contamination has occurred. The system consists of a small wooden dam impoundment, a PVC intake, two settling chambers and a 10,000-gallon steel storage tank. Waterlines route from the storage tank through the village to the homes and buildings served by the system. The village system is connected to about half of the homes; of these, 14 also have a private well. Many of the villagers report freezing problems and lack of water with the village system. The Voznesenka water system is being upgraded from a surface water collection system without treatment, to a groundwater source with treatment, storage and fire flow capacity. The system under construction includes two community wells and a 325,000-gallon storage tank that are complete. An additional 325,000-gallon tank, a water treatment building, and a distribution system with fire hydrants remain to be completed.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On September 5, 2006 the Voznesenka Community Council, Inc. (VCCI) called for a meeting to be held at the Voznesenka utility office. In addition to the VCCI council members, the meeting was attended by representatives from various agencies which included: Village Safewater engineers, Aurora Taxes, staff from Represenative Seaton's office, an attorney for VCCI, and RUBA staff. The meeting focused on the essential indicators, as reported in the recent RUBA Assessment of Management Capacity Indicators for the community of Voznesenka. An ongoing community sanitation project was stopped by VSW as a result of the report. The meeting focused on the deficient indicators, discussing each one and clarifying what needed to be done to resolve the utility's management issues. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to provide assistance via email, facsimile, and phone to the community.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
17 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
7 of 27
Total Score:
24 of 54

Finances

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.
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.
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
VCCI has hired Aurora Taxes from Anchor Point to take care of the finances for VCCI. The VCCI staff has provided a profit and loss statement, including a balance sheet. VCCI still has not completed a budget for the community, however, with the help of Aurora Taxes and the VSW engineer, VCCI should have a budget in place soon. When complete, Aurora Taxes has agreed to forward the document to RUBA staff for review.

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.
No 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.
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 VCC Council staff is tracking the utility customers by using an Excel spreadsheet that shows who is current with their utility bill, including the deposits made by the customer. They should keep track of all funds by implementing an account payable and receivable system for the council. This will have a positive impact on the utility once the staff starts to implement the accounting 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.
No 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
An Authorization to Release Federal Tax Information form was signed by a council member at the September 5 meeting, which RUBA staff forwarded to the IRS. The IRS indicated VCCI needs to submit tax returns from September 2005 to present. The IRS agent did not indicate if VCCI should be reporting annually on their tax reports. This was one of the concerns a VCCI representative pointed out to RUBA staff. RUBA staff forwarded the question to the Anchorage IRS agent and has not received a response.

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.
No 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.
No The utility has an adequate written hiring process.
No 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.
No The utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed and available.
Personnel System Comments
The council has worker's compensation insurance that will expire on December 10, 2006. VCCI has a personnel policy in place but will need to have job descriptions for all employees working for VCCI.

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.
No The policy making body enforces utility policy.
No 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 VCCI council has hired Aurora Taxes to take care of all finances and accounting for the utility. This represents a positive step by the council for their utility. The council will work closely with Aurora Taxes in creating the budget for the community.

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.
No The utility has completed and distributed its "Consumer Confidence Report".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
Yes The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility has developed a crital spare parts list along with a preventative maintenance plan for the utility.