Osseo audit shows finances ‘quite a bit stronger’

The Osseo City Council received a favorable 2013 audit during its Monday, June 23 meeting.

According to the audit consultant the city had a balanced budget in 2013.

The council also considered actions relating to the finance officer position, which will be vacant as of June 30. It accepted bids for the County Road 30 sanitary sewer project.

Here are some of the meeting highlights.


2013 AUDIT

The council heard from Matt Mayer of KDV, which conducted the 2013 audit. KDV has completed the city’s audits for the past three years. During that time, the city has closed some unnecessary funds and worked to eliminate funds with negative balances.

“For 2013, you had a balanced budget, called for $1.9 million in revenue and about $1.5 million in spending and about $463,000 being transferred out to your equipment fund to set aside for future capital needs,” Mayer said. “Revenue came in about a quarter of a million dollars better than anticipated at $2.22 million. Excess [tax increment financing] dollars come in.”

The city’s general fund balance has increased by $93,551 after using some of the available balance for the Block 6 redevelopment project. The greatest expenditure from the general fund was public safety (48.1 percent). Next was general government with 35.9 percent. The city’s genera fund balance in 2013 was $988,215, which represents 60.7 percent of the 2013 expenditures. The city’s fund balance policy is to have 35 percent of year’s budgeted expenditures by the end of the year.

The Economic Development Authority’s general fund balance increased by $69,717. Also increasing fund balances in 2013 were the water ($114,435), sewer ($79,579) and storm water ($121,826).

Mayer said the rate adjustment in the water fund has helped the fund and the sewer fund was also performing better.

Mayor Duane Poppe said, “I appreciate your work on this and our financial position is quite a bit stronger than it was. I think the books themselves have been cleaned up considerably.

The council unanimously approved the annual audit of the city for the year 2013. The council also accepted the proposal of KDV to conduct the audit of the city for years 2014, 2015 and 2016.


Finance officer position

Also during the meeting, City Administrator Doug Reeder told the council the applicant the council approved hiring for the finance officer position June 9 withdrew her application. Current Finance Officer Gary Braaten’s last day is June 30.

“We are now asking you to appoint another person who was in the original selection process, who actually finished very close to the first person we had selected,” Reeder said.

The new applicant, Teri Portinen, has worked in the finance department for the city of Medina for last six years and came highly recommended, according to staff. The appointment would be made subject to the successful completion of a background check.

Portinen will now give notice to her current employer after the background check has been completed. Reeder said it is estimated that she would begin her position with the city by July 14. Her salary would be $58,000 annually.

The council approved the hiring of Teri Potinen as a probationary exempt employee for the position of finance officer with the city effective July 14, at an annual salary of $58,000 condition upon the successful completion of a background checks by the city.

In a related matter, Reeder informed the council that the finance officer position will be vacant as of July 1 and will be vacant for at least three weeks. He said during that time it would be essential that the continuation of the most important daily function of the finance department be provided.

“We have solicited a proposal from Abdo Eick and Meyers LLP, who are a company that Gary Groen actually works for,” Reeder said. Groen has been assisting the city’s finance department on a consulting basis for years.

This company has the capability of handling the city’s payroll, accounts payable and utility billing during the gap period. This can be done in 24 to 35 hours a week at a total cost of $7,500 and $15,000 for three weeks.

The council approved an agreement for the provision of professional services to the city with Abdo Eick and Meyers as proposed.


County Road 30 project

Kevin Bittner, city engineer with Bolton and Menk, presented the council with the bids for the project that will increase the sanitary sewer line at County Road 30 between First Avenue N.W. and First Avenue N.E. to increase the capacity of the sanitary sewer to serve the central business area. The method used will be pipe bursting, which a machine is pulled through the existing line that burst it increasing the size of the hole and is followed by the insertion of a new larger line. According to staff this is all done without digging up the old line.

The project will not be assessed. It will be paid with tax increment financing funding from the Block 6 district. Work will be done prior the time the County Road 30 overlay project this August by the county.

Bittner said the low bidder was Penn Contracting at $159,660. Other bids received were: Geislinger and Sons at $196,700, Northdale Construction at $209,042 and GM Contracting at $236,630.

The council awarded the County Road 30 pipe bursting project to Penn Contracting at a cost of $159,660.



In other action, the council:

CANCELED the council work session for June 30. There are no items to discuss.

SET a public hearing for Monday, July 28, at 7 p.m. for the proposed assessment 2014 street and utility improvements for First Avenue N.E. from Fourth Street N.E. to County Road 30, and Fourth Street N.E. from First Avenue N.E. to Fourth Avenue N.E.

APPROVED the hiring of a seasonal employee in the Public Services Department. The part-time employee would help maintain the ball fields and park areas within the city for the summer at a hourly wage of $10.

APPOINTED Dee Bonn to the Public Safety Advisory Committee with a term ending Dec. 31, 2015.