Quarterly Report: 2014, October - December (Q2), Voznesenka

Community:
Voznesenka 
Staff:
Glen Hamburg  
DCRA Regional Office:
Anchorage 
Gov't Type:
Community Council 
Borough:
Kenai Peninsula Borough 
Agreement?
No 
Agreement Date:
 
Entity:
Voznesenka Community Council, Incorporated 
Population:
275 None 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Completed 
Assessment Date:
6/11/2009 
Exp Date:
 
Last Updated:
12/26/2013 
Community Sanitation Overview:
Voznesenka is situated on a high bluff overlooking the upper end of Kachemak Bay on the Kenai Peninsula. Russian Old Believers from Nikolaevsk, which is about 20 miles away, started the community in 1985. While lying within the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the community itself is not incorporated as a municipality. Rather, the Voznesenka Community Council, Inc. (VCCI), a non-profit corporation organized under Title 10 of state statute, was established in 2000 to advance the health and welfare of the community’s residents. As part of this effort, VCCI has worked 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 constructed around 1990 by community members. The community-built system did not meet drinking water standards, however, 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, the local school, and a church. The new system draws groundwater from two wells. The water is then treated at a Class 1 treatment facility to remove iron, manganese, and arsenic. All residences on the water system have individual on-site wastewater systems; many of these wastewater systems are substandard, are failing, or have failed already. Efforts have been underway since 2010 to improve these systems.  
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
New RUBA staff was assigned to the community on December 2 and has since worked to verify operator certification, workers’ compensation insurance coverage, state and federal tax payments, and VCCI standing with the Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing. Attempts by new and previous RUBA staff to contact the community and receive additional supporting documentation have been unsuccessful. The information contained in this report is not necessarily a reflection of the true management practices in place at the utility in Voznesenka; report indicators will be updated when relevant information is received. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will make additional efforts to contact the community, offer assistance, and seek supporting documentation for this report.
Scores:
 
Essential Indicators:
2 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
1 of 27
Total Score:
3 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.
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.
No 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
RUBA staff has not been able to verify that a balanced, realistic budget continues to be used at the utility or that monthly financial reports comparing budgeted and actual amounts are still given to VCCI’s policy-making body at monthly meetings. No financial reports have been supplied to demonstrate that the utility is receiving revenues sufficient to cover operating expenses. It is not clear whether the utility has an adequate supply of fuel. Electricity is supplied by the Homer Electric Association and the trash is handled by the Kenai Peninsula Borough refuse transfer station; however, no statements have been provided to RUBA staff showing that the utility’s payments for those services are current. No recent board meeting minute shave been provided to show whether monthly manager reports are given.

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.
No 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.
No 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.
No 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
The utility contracts out all accounting functions to Aurora Taxes and Accounting, Inc., including the billing and tracking of utility customers, the maintenance of a chart of accounts, and processing of payroll. It has been reported in previous quarters that the majority of accounts are paid well in advance. However, no recent supporting documentation has been provided to confirm that these systems are indeed in place and are functioning appropriately.

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
RUBA staff has not been riven signed authorization to verify VCCI’s federal tax filings and deposits and the State’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development has not given clearance for the corporation’s employment security (ESC) tax filings and deposits either. Relevant indicators in this section have been marked ‘No’ until such conformation is received. The utility is not, however, listed in the September-October Lien Watch report.

Personnel System

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No 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
RUBA staff confirmed on December 24, 2013 that VCCI has a valid workers’ compensation insurance policy through Travelers Property Casualty Company of America; however, it is not known whether proof of coverage is posted as required. Adopted personnel policies were once submitted to RUBA staff, though they may not be current. Similarly, it has been reported that there are procedures for personnel evaluations, but supporting evidence has not been submitted. RUBA staff has been unable to view and verify required information in personnel folders due to the president/primary manager not having information available. A budget and financial reports, which could help to demonstrate that the utility provides training opportunities to staff as needed, have not been provided.

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
No The entity that owns the utility is known; the entity that will operate the utility is set.
No 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.
No The utility has an adequately trained bookkeeper.
Yes The utility has an adequately trained operator or operators.
No 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.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The organization's management is outlined in their business plan. The utility hired and is working closely with Aurora Taxes and Accounting, Inc. of Anchor Point to take care of all finances and accounting for the utility. Information demonstrating that the policy-making body is active, or that the manager and bookkeeper are adequately trained has not been provided. The Department of Environmental Conservation recognizes two operators at the utility. The primary operator is fully certified to operate a Class 1 water treatment plant and is provisionally certified in water distribution. The backup operator is provisionally certified in water treatment and distribution.

Operation of Utility

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes The utility operator(s) are actively working towards necessary certification.
No 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.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The information concerning the utility operators described in the Organizational Management section of this report demonstrate that they are actively working toward their necessary certification. The utility is also not listed on the October 2013 Significant Non-Complier (SNC) list. However, supporting documentation for the other indicators in this section has not been provided to RUBA staff.