At last week’s meeting of the LaPrairie City Council, officials tackled a full agenda that included the city’s 2015 annual audit.
Certified Public Accountant Jennifer Heintz delivered the summary of the audit on behalf of Glorvigen, Theis, Lind & Company. Heintz started her presentation by stating that the city may not need audits in the future due to restructuring in 2015.
“Typically when you have a separate clerk and a separate treasurer, and those positions are elected, there is no need for an audit. There are usually two separate sets of books. The clerk has a set of books. The treasurer has a set of books and they reconcile to one another,” she said. “You kind of have a hybrid thing going on here.” Heintz said she would get back to the council after the issue had been resolved by the State Auditor.
With regard to the audit, Heintz said nothing came to the attention of Glorvigen, Theis, and Lind that led them to believe that the city’s financial statements were misleading. She summarized the city’s receipts and expenditures for the year, noting that the balance in the city’s bank account was depleted by $300,000 over the course of the year.
Heintz said that some of the money probably came into the account in the form of grants that were used later in the year to pay for the road construction projects.
Mayor Mike Fall commented, “Of course we fronted the assessment costs.” Heintz responded, “Yes, that shows up as a disbursement and you haven’t gotten that money back yet.”
Heintz went on to point out that the city had no debt, stating “At the end of the day, you have $440,000 in the bank so you’re sitting really good.”
At the end of her presentation, Heintz said that she did discover one accounting mistake while conducting the audit in the form of a recreation account with a balance of $2,200 that was not on the books. Heintz concluded the conversation stating “It has been corrected. It is included with the other monies.”
Following the audit presentation, Fall said that he thought the city was in good shape despite a cost overrun on road construction during 2015.
“I think it’s really important that we not have debt,” Fall said. “We aren’t paying any interest on debt service and I think that’s a real good thing. We have more than our annual budget in reserves.”
Mayor Fall concluded the discussion about the audit with a request that the city be notified in a timely manner should the city have to apply for an audit extension. The city’s audit was due on March 31.
Heintz said that she made a huge effort to get the audit done by the deadline but that there were too many open-ended questions remaining as the deadline approached, so she applied for the extension. Said Fall; “We don’t have a problem with it; we just want to know.” Heintz apologized and said she would comply with the mayor’s wishes. The council voted to approve the audit at a cost of $5,600.
In other business, the council:
• Accepted the donation of two pieces of playground equipment.
• Approved the purchase of a John Deere lawn mower in the amount of $11,422.58.
• Voted to advertise for bids on the city’s Cub Cadet lawn mower.
• Approved the appointment of Joe Procopio to the Green Steps committee
• Voted to table the vote on vacating the alleyway between LaPrairie and Elizabeth Avenues that is bounded on the north by Balsam Street and on the south by Fraser Street.
• Voted to conduct a public hearing on June 6 at 6 p.m. to discuss the city’s pet ordinance.
• Voted to waive the monetary limits on LMCIT Liability Coverage.
• Scheduled a public hearing on June 20 at 6 p.m. to discuss the vacation of right-of-way on Balsam Street.
• Voted to make the city’s flat fees on small residential projects consistent with those of Grand Rapids.