Quarterly Report: 2010, January - March (Q3), 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, which is about 20 miles away, started the community in 1985. Since the community is unincorporated, Voznesenka Community Council, Inc. (VCCI) is a non-profit corporation that was established in 2000 to engage in various civic functions for improving the health and welfare of the residents of the community. One such function was to enter into grant agreements for capital projects to improve sanitation in the community. Prior to 2006, Voznesenka was partially served by private wells and a Class A surface water system that was constructed around 1990 by community members. The community built system did not meet drinking water standards and as a result, the system was under a boil water notice by ADEC for many years until the system was upgraded. From 2006 to 2009, the water system was upgraded by Village Safe Water (VSW) to meet drinking water regulations and to serve about 60 residences, school, and church . Currently, the new water system uses groundwater from two wells as a water source. This water is treated to remove iron, manganese, and arsenic using mixed oxidants (MIOX) and GreensandPlusTM, which is a manganese dioxide coated media that acts as a catalyst in the oxidation reduction reaction of iron and manganese. All residences on the water system have individual onsite wastewater systems and many of them are substandard and are failing or have failed. Dependent on continued funding from VSW, the plan is to inventory, assess, and evaluate these onsite systems and associated site conditions starting in the spring of 2010. After that, new onsite systems will be designed and then installed over an 18 month period. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On March 23, 2010, RUBA staff traveled to Voznesenka to meet with the President and Vice President of the Voznesenka Community Council, Inc. During the onsite visit RUBA staff discussed the importance of communication between the council and the clerk in order for the utility to function smoothly. The group also discussed the importance of financial information being submitted to the clerk in a timely manner in order for financial reports to be accurately created for council review. The community's Remote Maintenance Worker was also in attendance and stated the utility had various pumps that needed to be replaced but overall, the operation of the plant was running well. A new punch list has been created and needs to be completed in order to fully turn the facility over to the community. RUBA staff was informed by VSW that construction of sewer piping will begin in the near future. RUBA staff will continue to follow up on activities in the community.  
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff is continuing to work with the community to update RUBA assessment and to provide assistance via email, facsimile, and phone to the community upon their request.
Essential Indicators:
22 of 26
Sustainable Indicators:
16 of 27
Total Score:
38 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.
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
The VCCI clerk states that an approved budget is not currently available. Due to the absence of the president and vice-president, discussion with the council has not occurred and it cannot be determined if the budget does report on the full operations of the facility. VCCI is billing their customers for the water utility service. It was noted by RUBA staff and the clerk that there were two outstanding accounts listed on the chart of accounts that needed action by the council. The majority of accounts are paid well in advance. The clerk is waiting on a decision from the council on how to proceed on the outstanding accounts. The majority of the village is connected to the water system and an assessment is being done to ensure that all connections are documented and accounted for. A monthly financial statement is prepared but revenues are believed to be lower than what they should be. Without a clear financial report, it is unclear whether sufficient revenues are being collected in relation to expenses 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. 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. RUBA staff informed the Vice-President that it is imperative that there is communication between the clerk and VCCI.

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.
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. VCCI is tracking the utility customers through their newly hired clerk with Aurora Taxes and Accounting. A new chart of accounts listing has been created by the clerk. VCCI has not been providing bank statements to the clerk to do reconciliation of the bank account.

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
On March 16, 2010, RUBA Staff received and submitted a Tax Authorization Request from VCCI. On March 20, 2010, RUBA staff received a report that VCCI is in compliance with filing and deposit requirements with the IRS and DOL.

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.
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 has a current worker's compensation policy that is in effect from 10/26/2009 to 10/26/2010 and forwarded a copy of the certificate to RUBA staff. VCCI has submitted a copy of their personnel policy and procedures but it requires an adopted date and signature from the President of VCCI. There are job descriptions for a utility clerk, operator(s) and for a manager. There are procedures for personnel evaluations, but there was not one available for review to verify the written personnel evaluation ties the job description to the evaluation. The policy and procedures have adequate directions on the hiring process and provide examples of required forms. The Form I-9 is listed in the index but forms and directions should be incorporated as part of the process in the policy and procedures. RUBA staff was unable to view and verify required information in personnel folders due to the president/primary manager not having information available. In their written policy, it states an employee will have a six month probation period. The utility provides training opportunities for their staff as needed and when 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. Their certifications will expire December 31, 2011. 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 has been compiled in order to have an accurate report by July 2010. The community was notified that the boil water notice issued years ago has been rescinded as of May 11, 2009. 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.