Council hears clean audit details

CEYLON — The Ceylon City Council met Tuesday evening and received received the audit report from Greg Burkhardt. He explained that there had to be a single or special audit since the broadband installation was from a federal grant and with CEDA’s help that audit was done to comply with federal and state regulations. The City received what he called a “clean audit” which means the finances were compliant and reconciled. He had some recommendations and adjustments. He mentioned some errors that were adjusted and that the council could read all nine pages in the management letter. He again recommended the council stay involved with financial information. Three points of interest he reported were that one non-compliance was forms that contractors and subcontractors did not give for employees withholding. The cash was not accurate sometimes. And the electricity rates should have been raised and that non payment may have to be added.

The City had a healthy financial report, very good cash reserve (how many days city could go if

emergency) of two years. The net worth or fund balance was over 100 percent which is very good. The general budget had good budget control so expenditures were underspent. The Enterprise fund, which is like business, water, sewer and electricity were all either good or okay. The big expenses last year made the sewer fund low. The council remarked that it is hard to raise rates for those who pay their bill because there are those who do not pay their bill. The council decided to have a special meeting concerning audit matters brought up that need fixing and what to do and how to do it. The council thanked the clerk and the auditor for the report and work of city finances.

The meeting continued with a request from the non-profit group, Helping Hands of Ceylon, to

remove the smaller wrecked picnic tables from the shelter house. The group has procured a grant and the purchase of some serving tables for the shelter house was part of that grant. The group is also painting the shelter house this summer/spring. The city employee will remove the tables mentioned.

The council accepted with thanks the donation from the Fox Lake Conservation group of $1,800 for the Ceylon Fire Department. The fire department purchased a special water sprayer that would help with grass fires and others.

Councilor Perkins reported on the Edward Jones investments and recommended that the City stay with every three months roll over of the CD to help safely control the monies. There has been a good return so far on this investment.

The option of selling property on the corner of Grove Street and Main Street was discussed and the council decided to not sell the property right now so they can use it for snow removal and to keep it from going from residential to commercial property.

Three council members reported that they visited the properties that were sent a letter describing the ordinance violations. Some of the properties complied and some did not. Those who did not will have citations including non-registered cars, boats and pontoons. The next step will be to contact the city attorney and get the citations started.

The council also discussed those living in campers in town. There is an ordinance against living in mobile homes in town. The council would like to add an ordinance against campers since they are not up to fire and other codes and are not hooked up to utilities and pose a danger to those living in them. The clerk will contact other cities and ask what their ordinances are like.

City employee, Jim Plumhoff, reported that there is a large amount of water going into the sewer. The manholes were effected and the source of the non sewer water is not known. The waste system will be inspected and the council approved contacting the Empire company to use a camera to find problem spots at a cost of about $20,000.

Waste Management charged about $900 for clean up after the Community Day event.

The council discussed the ineffectual process of contacting owners of the three buildings to be

demolished on the main downtown area. The offer of $50,000 was not acceptable since it will cost much more than that to demolish the buildings. There are also many things not corrected by MnDOT from the construction done in 2023. The council decided to have a special meeting with engineers, MnDOT and owners if they could be contacted. They will meet and get quotes for all the things needed for demolition and other projects to show that there is a larger amount needed.

Clean Up Day in Ceylon is this Saturday, May 18. Tags have been available at Ceylon City Hall for curbside pick up only that day.

The next meeting of the Ceylon City Council is scheduled for 6 p.m. on June 11, at the city hall in Ceylon.


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