Quarterly Report: 2009, April - June (Q4), Voznesenka Village

Voznesenka Village 
Earl Gibson  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Community Council 
Agreement Date:
Voznesenka Community Council, Incorporated 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
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:
Anchorage RUBA staff traveled to Voznesenka to perform a management assessment of the utility services. On June 11, 2009, RUBA staff met with a Village Safe Water (VSW)engineer, Vozenesenka Community Council, Inc. (VCCI) Vice President, VCCI Water Operator, and VCCI accounting firm, Aurora Taxes and Accounting. Aurora Taxes and Accounting provided most of the documentation for the assessment for RUBA staff to review. Specific documents used in this report are available with the RUBA staff. After completion of the assessment, RUBA staff attended another meeting at 2:30 pm concerning a septic sewer project for Voznesenka. This meeting was attended with VSW engineers and members of the VCCI. The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss the process and location of septic tanks, as well as the priority of the work upon completion of the punch list (task list).  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will continue to provide assistance via email, facsimile, and phone to the community upon their request.
Essential Indicators:
25 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
15 of 27
Total Score:
40 of 53


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.
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
VCCI provides an overall budget and does not budget for or report on operations separately. VCCI has begun the process of billing their customers for utility purposes. Because there may be new customers hooked up to the water system, an inventory of hook-ups is being accomplished. At least 90 percent of the village is connected to the water system, but based on the number of hook-ups listed; a review of connections is needed. A monthly financial statement is prepared but revenues are believed to be lower than what they should be. An inventory of all hook-ups has to be completed because an accurate customer list is not available. When this is completed, the revenue statement will reflect the change. Without a clear financial report, it is unclear whether sufficient revenues are being collected or whether revenues and expenditures are tracking with the budget. Electricity is supplied by the Homer Electric Association and the trash is handled by the Kenai Peninsula Borough refuse transfer station. A monthly manager's report is not provided, but a verbal acknowledgement of account balance is given. RUBA staff discussed with the Vice President of VCCI about providing a written report in order to have written documentation for any reporting by the manager.

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.
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 VCCI contracts out all the accounting functions for the community to Aurora Taxes and Accounting. The VCCI is tracking the utility customers through their newly hired clerk with Aurora Taxes and Accounting. A new chart of accounts is being accomplished to add new additions that were missed after water hook-ups. The contractor provides monthly reports for the council staff to review of the financial activity of the utility.

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.
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
The VCCI is within compliance with the IRS and DOL as of June 16, 2009.

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.
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.
Yes 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.
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 utility does have a current workers compensation policy that is in effect from 10/26/2008 to 10/26/2009. VCCI has a personnel policy in place but will need to review for accuracy. There is a job description for an operator but not for a manager. The utility has Policy and Procedures for personnel evaluations but was unable to present a written personnel evaluation that ties the job description to the evaluation. Their Policy and Procedures have adequate directions on the hiring process and provides examples of some required forms. The Form I-9 will need to be incorporated as part of the process. RUBA staff was unable to view and verify required information in personnel folders due to president/primary manager not being available to provide this. In their written policy, it states an employee will have a six month probation period. The utility does provide training opportunities for their staff as needed and available.

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 organization's management is outlined in their business plan. VCCI hired and is working closely with Aurora Taxes and Accounting to take care of all finances and accounting for the utility. The council will work closely with Aurora Taxes and Accounting in maintaining the budget for the community now that a new water system is online. Due to unavailability of the utility manager, RUBA staff is now working with the Vice President. The Vice President is an adequately trained manager/certified operator for the new plant and has some training in maintaining financials for the utility. Currently, the billing and financials for the utility are provided by Aurora Taxes and Accounting in Anchor Point. There are a total of three certified operators, one primary and two alternates. They are listed on the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation list of trained operators. The policy making body meets as required for utility business. The utility does post public meeting notices to comply with the Open Meetings Act for all meetings; the minutes are recorded and available.

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".
Yes The utility is not on the "Significant Non-Complier" (SNC) list.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
There are certified operators working in the water plant, one primary and two alternates. The utility does have a preventative maintenance plan developed for the new utility and the nearly complete project is still under the guidance of Village Safe Water. VCCI is working with Anchor Point Safe Water in developing a safety manual that corresponds to their plant operation. CCR is not completed and distributed. The facility began operation December 15, 2008 and 12 months of data must be compiled in order to have an accurate report. The utility is not listed on the Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list. There were lists for inventory and critical spare parts but they need to be updated for the new system.