Quarterly Report: 2009, October - December (Q2), Kachemak Selo

Kachemak Selo 
Earl Gibson  
DCRA Regional Office:
Gov't Type:
Water Systems 
Agreement Date:
The Village Of Kachemak Selo Water Company Incorporated 
Assessment Status:
Assessment Date:
Exp Date:
Last Updated:
Community Sanitation Overview:
Kachemak Selo is an unincorporated village of approximately 164 Russian Orthodox Old Believers, 20 miles east of Homer on Kachemak Bay. The village is in an area with limited surface and ground water resources. Kachemak Selo has a Class A ground water system serving 27 occupied homes and 3 vacant houses. A Class C system serves five homes, and two homes are served by a private water system. Wastewater systems are individual onsite disposal systems. None of the water systems are approved for operation by ADEC. 
RUBA Status & Activities This Qtr:
On November 28, 2008, RUBA staff met with members of the Kachemak Selo water utility board to review a RUBA assessment of management capacity indicators. The community accepted the assessment report as written. Board members explained that the communitys preference for a water project would be to drill new wells, for which they are seeking funding. RUBA informed the community that the essential management indicators must be met on the assessment before any state monies could be received for sanitation projects. RUBA staff suggested community members visit nearby Voznesenka, to see their new water treatment facility. Also, RUBA staff recommended that the board members seek assistance from their bookkeeper (Aurora Taxes and Accounting, Inc.) or request RUBA assistance with meeting any of the management indicators. There were no changes in the RUBA assessment at this time. RUBA staff will continue to work with the community in drafting ordinances and policy procedures. 
RUBA Activities for the Coming Qtr:
RUBA staff will maintain contact and offer assistance with drafting a utility ordinance using the model ordinance provided to the utility.
Essential Indicators:
9 of 27
Sustainable Indicators:
5 of 27
Total Score:
14 of 54


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.
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
Kachemak Selo is working with Kathy Kacher, Aurora Taxes and Accounting, Inc. She assisted the community in developing their non-profit status and an adopted budget for 2009. The name of the organization is 'The Village of Kachemak Selo Cooperative Water Company Incorporated.' The utility's budget is for the current water system. As the project grows, changes will be made and the budget adjusted accordingly. A monthly financial statement is not prepared because accounting and billing systems have not been set up. When these systems are in place, the statement will be developed by Aurora Taxes, who assisted with their current adopted budget. Without a 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. Currently, the system does not have need for fuel to run the utility. The ultraviolet light system runs off electricity supplied by the school. Payment of electricity is made directly from the school lease and paid directly to Homer Electric Association for the community. A monthly manager's report is verbally provided on expenses and needs for the utility but not documented in the meeting minutes. The community does have a set budget and takes care of whatever needs they may have at the time.

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
Currently, there is no accounting system for the utility. The current way of paying bills is the manager coordinates with residents what the total expenses are periodically and asks for a certain amount from each household to meet the costs. The community maintains a bank account for this purpose. As a newly established utility, it will be necessary to develop a collections policy. The manager stated that a billing system will be developed and maintained by the utility. A system will need to be developed to assist the utility in maintaining an accounting system for payroll, budgets, billings, and chart of accounts. The manager stated they were looking at a proposed charge of $50.00 a month to help cover costs.

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
The Village of Kachemak Selo recently established themselves in a non-profit status (501 (c) (12)) and just received approval of an EIN from the IRS. Currently, there are no paid positions for this utility.

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
The utility does not have a worker's compensation policy in effect because currently, there are no paid positions for this utility. A personnel system that will encompass a personnel policy, job descriptions, and evaluations will need to be developed. The utility can contact their LGS for assistance in meeting the requirements

Organizational Management

Essential Indicators
Answer Question
Yes 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.
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.
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.
Yes The policy making body meets as required.
No The utility complies with the open meeting act for all meetings.
Organizational Management Comments
The community provided Articles of Amendment for non-profit status as documentation that the utility is owned and operated by the community. However, the utility does not have a utility ordinance in place showing authorization to operate. The policy making body is making decisions concerning the utility and there are written minutes provided. The manager provided a certificate of training and is the only certified operator. He is adequately trained to run the water utility and has some training in maintaining financials for the utility. Currently, the utility does not have a local bookkeeper and these services are provided by Aurora Taxes and Accounting in Anchor Point. The policy making body meets when necessary for utility business. The utility does not post public meeting notices to comply with the open meetings act of all meetings; however, the minutes are recorded and available.

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.
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.
No The utility maintains an inventory control list.
No The utility maintains a critical spare parts list.
Operation of Utility Comments
The utility does not have a preventative maintenance plan developed for the existing utility. Currently, the manager and operator is the same person with no reports required at present time. A safety manual specific to the community's water system should be created; participation in a safety program is recommended with documentation of meetings and meeting subjects. The current CCR is completed, as well as monthly testing of water. The utility is not listed on the Significant Non-Compliance (SNC) list. However, the utility is not currently compliant with all water regulations since they are under a boil water notice from the EPA. There were no lists for inventory and critical spare parts.