Akeley audit shows healthy fund balances – Park Rapids Enterprise

Akeley’s audit report for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2022 received an unmodified opinion.

“That’s what you are looking for,” Jon Roscoe of Miller McDonald Inc. told the council at their April 12 meeting.

“We’re looking at each fund as a whole,” he said. “All have healthy fund balances and good reserves. Cash balances show the big picture. Cash in the general fund increased in the past three years,” Roscoe said.

The city ended the fiscal year with a general fund cash and investment balance of $372,734. The liquor store balance was $219,678, the water fund balance was $206,668, the sewer fund balance was $351,439 and the park fund balance was $137,467. The total balance in all accounts on Dec. 21, 2022 was $1,287,986.

Roscoe said council oversight of finances as is done in Akeley is important in small cities with small staff.

“Everything was well organized which was a big help for us,” he said.

Other comments from the auditor included that the water fund balance has decreased due to professional fees, sewer fund operations are consistent with prior years, the liquor fund note pension liability looks like a payroll increase but doesn’t affect cash flow and the park fund did take a little in 2022 due to opening later in the spring due to the weather.

Public participation in meetings

The council adopted a public comment policy for Akeley council meetings that restricts comments from the public to the public forum period.

The public forum provides an opportunity for the public to address the council on subjects that are not part of the regular meeting agenda and are relevant to the affairs, policies or practices of the city. Remarks will be limited to two minutes and personal attacks are prohibited.

The person addressing the council must state their name and address and follow appropriate rules of conduct. The use of obscene, profane or threatening language is prohibited.

Threatening, loud or boisterous conduct that disrupts the meeting or the security of those present is also prohibited. Members of the public who do not follow these rules, or the direction of the presiding officer, will be warned that further disruptive conduct will result in removal from the meeting. The council may discuss but will not take formal action on public forum presentations. The entire policy is available at city hall.

In other action, the council:

  • Approved a resolution for a five-year joint powers agreement between attorney Jonathan Frieden and the police department for the purpose of accessing criminal data from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. 
  • Accepted community projects donations and egg hunt donations.
  • Heard Police Chief Jimmy Hansen is attending a conference and could not be present. 
  • Heard a request from council member Billy Krotzer for help from city employees Reid Watson and Mike Hubner to get video cameras installed at the campground.
  • Heard a request from Edith Hudson to place a sturdy, metal bench placed in cement and bolted down at the access in memory of her husband. The council approved placing the bench there pending approval from the county. 
  • Approved a maximum of $300 for the Paul Bunyan Days Committee to make 4,000 color copies to insert in newspapers. The cost will be split between the liquor store and the parks fund. 
  • Discussed the possible expansion of the Akeley Food Shelf. They are looking to add on to the back of their building. The food shelf will receive a copy of the ordinance requirements, including required setback, from the city.

The next regular council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 10 at city hall.

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.