Ceylon gets audit report

CEYLON – Ceylon City Council this week received the auditor’s report on city finances.

Auditor Greg Burkhardt praised the city and its clerk, Mary Muller, for accuracy and promptness.

He suggested improvements to track vacation and work hours balances, such as by using a time card.

Burkhardt also suggested using affidavits when council members work for the city and when old equipment is auctioned off, to demonstrate no conflict of interest.

Cash reserves are at 89 percent of ideal, since the city has had many large expenses, such as the $162,000 water system work on the south side of town, the repair to the water tower of more than $50,000 and the tornado damages.

Burkhardt said slightly higher utility rates may be needed to offset losses or low cash reserves. Sometimes property taxes and local government aid have been used to lower utility rates, but that aid needs to be used elsewhere, he said.

Burkhardt reminded the council to remain actively involved in city finances.

Turning to other business, the council heard from the public, with citizens asking about snow removal, if the storm that is predicted develops, and expressing concerns about Highway 263 improvements and future ownership of the road.

In other business, the council:

o Heard a report that street repairs are in the works, with bids being collected. The need for gravel in many alleys and on street shoulders was discussed, and the city employee will be asked to obtain gravel bids.

o Heard a report that some buildings in town have loose bricks, etc. The clerk was asked to send out letters so residents can have these problems repaired.

o Heard a report that trash cans and snow removal will be done before Community Day on Saturday, and the corner near St. Peter Lutheran Church will be blocked off.