City audit indicates clean bill of health for Clare

December 7, 2018

By Pat Maurer

Monday evening, Duane Reyhl and Jennifer Feuerstein, representing the public accounting firm of Andrews, Hooper & Pavlik (AHP) of Midland, gave the results of the independent audit of the City’s financial record for the fiscal year ending June 30th.

City Manager Ken Hibl said in his agenda report, “The audit results are unqualified meaning that no adverse findings were discovered or noted during the course of the independent audit.”

Reyhl gave a summary of the audit, saying, “The City does a good job. The controls that you have work. We don’t always see that.”

Their report said, “In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the respective financial position of the governmental activities, the business-type activities, the discretely presented component units, each major fund, and the aggregate remaining fund information of the City of Clare as of June 30, 2018, and the respective changes in financial position and, where applicable, cash flows thereof for the year then ended, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.”

Highlights of the audit report included total assets for 2018 of $26,730,677 and liabilities totaling $9,264,624.

They reported, “The assets of the City exceeded its liabilities at the close of the most recent year by $17,523,562 (net position). Of this amount, $1,531,673

Judy Brankel, was honored Monday evening for her many years of service on the Parks and Recreation Board.

Judy Brankel, was honored Monday evening for her many years of service on the Parks and Recreation Board.

represents negative unrestricted net position. The negative unrestricted net position results from the adoption of GASB Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions.”

The report continued, “The City’s total net position increased by $1,351,048. • At the close of the current year, the City’s governmental funds reported combined fund balances of $1,405,629, a decrease of $209,250 in comparison with the prior year. Approximately 29% of this amount, which is $405,370, is available for spending at the City’s discretion (unassigned fund balance).”

It said, “At the end of the current year, unrestricted fund balance (the total of committed, assigned, and unassigned components of fund balance) for the General Fund was $881,994, or approximately 20% of total General Fund expenditures.

Total revenues for the year ending June 30th were $5,007,023 and total expenditures for the year were $5,248,273. The City’s beginning fund balance was $1,614,880 and the ending fund balance was $1,405,630 a decrease of 209,250.

The audit said, “The results of our tests disclosed no instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards.”

In another matter, members of the Cherry Grove Cemetery Advisory Board were at the meeting to discuss the deteriorating condition of the paved roads in the cemetery.

Representing the board, Jason Koch, who has researched ways to improve the roads, outlined the problem. “People are beginning to drive off the roads and near the graves,” he said.

He said he had met with Clare County Road Commission Engineer/Manager Deepak Gupta about solutions, saying he was interested in the CCRC developed “sandwich seal” process.

Unfortunately, he said Gupta, after inspecting the cemetery roads, said they were “too far gone,” for that process. He said Gupta told him a chip seal for the roads would cost $23,333 and last about seven years and that an asphalt overlay would cost $82,450 and last about 20 years. Completely replacing the roads in the cemetery would cost up to $500,000, Gupta told him.

Commissioner Bob Bonham, who was with the City when the roads were originally paved in the 1990s, said there wasn’t a base under the asphalt. “The best solution would be to pulverize the asphalt for a base and then pave.”

Finding the funds for the road improvement was discussed by Cemetery Board members and the Commission. Fundraising was suggested and City Manager Hibl said he would look into getting the cemetery roads included on the Act 51 map for streets in the City.

Also at the regular City meeting, the Commission honored Judy Brankel for her outstanding service to the community. She served for seven years on the City’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, but due to a medical condition, was forced to retire last spring. She was formally recognized by the City last April but was unable to attend. Hibl said, “Judy’s medical situation is much improved so we asked her to attend tonight to allow the Commission to personally thank her for her service.

Other business at the City meeting included:

*Approve of an amendment to the Resolution for the Lake Shamrock Dredging permit. An additional $532 is needed. The total budgeted for the permit was $20,000.

*Information and discussion on Michigan’s new Lead & Copper rules, the “most stringent and toughest in the nation,” Hibl said in his agenda report. The new rules require that the City complete a 100 percent physical inventory of all of the water service lines by January 1, 2020. “The inventory will require a physical inspection and likely require entrance into all the residential, commercial and industrial structures to which we provide water service,” Hibl reported.

*In his report to the board, Treasurer Steven Kingsbury said the winter 2018 property tax roll, and that it will be mailed soon. He reported a decrease in the total assessed value of $961,700 and an increase in the total taxable value of $997,721. The total annual property tax total for 2018 is $4,638,251 up $60,304.63 from the previous year.

*The Commission approved bills payable totaling $62,885.71.

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