Ceylan – Ceylon City Council met on Tuesday evening for its April meeting. Greg Burkhardt of Burkhardt & Burkhardt ltd. Submit a report.
Burckhardt explained the responsibilities of the city and the auditors, including accounting decisions, policy actions for the city, financial opinion, internal control, and state compliance to the auditors.
The city received an unmodified opinion, which is a clean audit. Burckhardt praised Treasurer Mary Mueller for her scrupulous support of the auditors. He mentioned some clues that might need some attention.
The Fire Department Relief Society Pension Plan is not included in the city’s financial statements. This has been city practice for years and is not illegal or of concern. The plan has an audit once a year. The only way it can affect the city is if the city has to save the fire department.
There has been financial vulnerability and concerns about transactions but that is mostly because it is a small town and staff for small offices. The concerns were related to the deposit of public funds and the city’s review of the banks’ needs for collateral. Other concerns were public indebtedness, which was reported by February 1 each year, and this year was different because of broadband and new road conditions.
There was also a concern of a conflict of interest when a council member was hired to work for the city. An affidavit by the Council member and unanimous approval by the Council is always done in these cases. Most of the adjustments were corrections by reviewers of small amounts except for four that were larger.
The city will need a single audit of broadband payments to identify underground wires and pipes. Help for these expenses is now ongoing.
The auditor explained that the general fund is doing well and the reserve is much higher than the state of the state which would be the number of days the city could go on if there was no income, and Ceylon has more than a general reserve.
Revenue is over budget, it’s over expense a little bit, so it’s working and the fund balance is in good shape.
Commercial boxes such as water and electricity boxes must run in the black. Cash flow from operations can be bond, repair and infrastructure payments. The property tax levy is usually used to help with cash flow.
He reiterated his advice to increase utility rates but understood the council’s reluctance to do so in the small town, and so far it has been working well. The Board will keep this option in reserve if necessary.
The report summarized by saying that the city is doing well and maintaining a balance of revenues and expenditures. The council sought his advice in the matter of converting the CDs from a small interest into a larger interest to win more from the town. He gave some examples and would advise the Board on what options they might have.
The city must consider different options and keep in mind the length of time, interest and diversity.
In other reports, the City Works Officer reported that there will be a meeting with the county and the list of unfinished items will be reviewed upon completion of the new road.
He asked the town clerk to check her computer which had been of interest to her lately. Council agreed.
The council reports inquired as to the division of the city into quarters and each council is responsible for ascertaining offenders in a quarter and reporting this to the council.
It was suggested that the reports now received should continue to be cleaned up.
The Fire Society meeting report included that two firefighters had gone into training recently and two firefighters were applying to work with the Ceylon Fire Department. Helmets and a thermal camera were ordered. Recently management is trying to recover some unpaid bills.
Two general comments/questions were raised at the meeting. One was around the dangerous intersection of Northwest Street and the snow there. After some discussion, the city will measure the avenue to assure the resident which part is the property of the city and which part belongs to it. The unprecedented amount of snow this year was noted and all parties were asked for patience and cooperation.
The second question was a request to use the old library portion of the old City Hall building for meetings and events of the local non-profit Helping Hands of Ceylon.
After discussion, the council suggested that they use the shelter in the garden for the summer and the city would consider what was stored in the old town hall building and room space. They remind nonprofit members that there should be liability insurance, pay rent and utilities, and address safety concerns. To use the shelter home, they must contact a city employee or clerk. The matter has been raised at the moment.
In other news, the council:
Approval of increasing the percentage of electricity.
– He did not agree to a request to close the street west of Lake Belt Bar & Grill on Community Day.
– Cleaning day approved for June 10th with curbside pickup only available. City Hall will sell signs for $10 and items must not exceed the amount that can fit in the back of a pickup.
– An invoice has been approved from Watson Electric for $5,785 to repair the filtration plant. The lift station will be calibrated this week.
The next meeting of the Ceylon City Council is scheduled for May 9 at 6 pm in the City Hall.