The Greenfield City Council meeting of May 21 began with a presentation by Matt Voss of Abdo, Eick and Meyers, the accounting firm that performs the city’s annual audit. Voss explained the process of reaching a clean, unqualified opinion as well as what was in the management letter prepared for the city.
Voss stated that the only deficiency recognized in the city’s accounting system is common one for municipalities with limited staff, and one that has been noted in the past with suggestions were taken under advisement and implemented by staff. “Limited segregation of duties” addressed the issue of one person having oversight of authorizations, disbursements, payroll and reconciliation. In the case of the City of Greenfield, the City Administrator may be directly involved with, or overseeing, these specific areas of accounting practices. However, there are additional practices in place that provide a set of “checks and balances”. Documentation, Voss said, is an important tool to this end, and the findings of the audit were that the city staff did well in this category, something that also aided in an efficient audit. He also recognized that the city’s Financial Committee was involved in overseeing staff accounting practices in some areas, and that continuing this practice would benefit the city.
The city’s general fund saw an increase of approximately $30,000 and the balance currently represents 71% of the city’s planned budget expenses for 2013. An ideal amount, Voss said, was 40 to 50%. Cities with similar populations, he reported, are at 67 to 69% of their 2013 budget projections, so Greenfield is in line with this trend. Because the majority of city revenue is tied to property taxes, and they come to the city later in the year, cities are required to have significant reserves on hand.
Overall, the audit was positive and the council accepted the findings.
The city’s administrator, Kathryne McCullum, presented the council with information regarding staff efforts to have a hazardous property situation corrected. In July of 2011 there was a house fire that left a residence on the 6600 block of 71 Lane uninhabitable and potentially hazardous. Attempts to resolve the situation, by having the structure raised and the property cleaned up, have not been successful to date, and McCullum took the matter to the city’s attorney.
The attorney prepared a resolution that, adopted, would give the property owners 30 days to begin restoration, and the city the ability to order the work with costs being charged to the property owners including associated legal fees.
The council approved this action 4-0.
There was also discussion with that included input from Greenfield Park Advisory Chair Victoria Dukes. Removing trees planted in the last couple of years in Greenfield Central Park was discussed and agreed upon at previous meetings, but Mayor Brad Johnson told the council that on closer inspection, he believed there was enough room to accommodate a future building site and the existing trees. Dukes concurred.
There was also discussion over the memorial site in this park. Work has been done to get the groundwork in, and a monument stone is being considered. Also discussed was what the monument would represent, in particular who would be memorialized. Initially the project was presented as a place to memorialize anyone deceased through the purchase of a brass nameplate. Councilor Chuck Alcon proposed that it be limited to members of the military, police and fire departments, and this was met with some council approval though no action was taken.
A flag raising ceremony is being planned with details to follow.
The next regular meeting of the Greenfield City Council is Tuesday, June 4, at 7 p.m. at 6390 Town Hall Dr.