Suggestions made regarding safer documentation
Linwood’s 2012 audit is in, and the experts shared two minor recommendations at the town board’s meeting last Tuesday.
David Mol, of HLB Tautges Redpath, Ltd., touched on internal controls and office management. He noted inconsistent usage of a recently acquired time clock: Cards are not consistently stamped. There were handwritten notations about arrival and departure in some instances. Mol’s recommendation is that the township monitor this better and have an established approval process for exceptions.
The other recommendation was that receipts be maintained for dispersal of petty cash. Mol referenced some reimbursements with a handwritten receipt rather than an original. Supervisor Mike Halliday commented that there should be no reimbursement without a receipt.
Mol also addressed state law (Statute 118A) requiring financial institutions to provide enough collateral for the township’s deposits above and beyond those covered by federal insurance. Deposits up to $250,000 are FDIC insured.
For Linwood, this means being certain that there is enough collateral to cover at least 10 percent more than total uninsured deposits. At the end of 2012, the township’s deposits amounted to $1,917,524. Factoring out the insured deposits, the collateral required was $1,834,276, or 110 percent of $1,667,524. Collateral provided by the bank totaled $1,705,330, nearly $129,000 short of the required amount.
The treasurer is in the best position to closely monitor these numbers, particularly as CDs mature, Mol said. He recommended bank statements be sent directly to township treasurer Vicki Erickson.
The township is shifting to the use of Cities and Township Accounting Software (CTAS). Janet Haapoja, administrative assistant and accountant, is learning this new software.
As noted at the 2013 annual meeting, the departmental reserves meet the recommended requirement of 50 percent of the operating budget. There was a carry-over of $70,000 from the road and bridge fund into 2013. Linwood spent $14,000 less than budgeted for 2012.
Attorney Mike Haag reported that the township’s human resources committee members have questions about longevity raises. Haag said it is up to the board to clarify interpretations of the policies. Any retroactive payments would mean amended tax return recipients.
In answer to questions, Haag said the burned-out house on Lyons Street will be razed as soon as the probate is opened by the state. This will allow the township to be paid for the work of clearing the site, with payment to come from a lien on the property.
Supervisor Bob Millerbernd confirmed that no carp barriers are to be installed between Typo and Martin lakes this winter. In the fall there was an estimate of the project cost, but lowest bid was about $160,000 higher than the estimate.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources had contributed a grant of $127,000 to the project. However, since the project has been postponed, the DNR has asked that the Sunrise River Water Management Organization return the money. The organization is invited to re-apply for a grant again in August.
The Martin Lakers have contributed money to this project, as has the township. About $37,000 is in an account designated for the carp barriers and will be held for that purpose until the project resumes.
Finally, Millerbernd reported that the Martin Lakers lake association was recognized as the outstanding conservationist in Anoka County for 2012.
Halliday told the board that a development plan for Boettcher Farms Park is being refined. Work completed in the township parks include installation of wood duck houses in at least one lake margin, on Viking Boulevard (CR-22), west of Typo Creek Drive (CR-85).
Millerbernd, liaison with the Linwood Community and School Forest, reported that Chad Duckson is the winner of the Medallion Hunt for the second year in a row as a result of the 11th clue. Duckson’s son, Connor, and his friend, Jacob Gonia, were along for the discovery. Other activities include future fundraisers to help cover the costs of building a gazebo for the park.
Mike Budde reported a failed air compressor and the $1,000 cost of a reconditioned replacement. Halliday and Millerbernd both urged buying a new unit, at a higher cost, to last for 10-15 years. Ed Kramer offered to provide one on loan until the purchase. Budde is to check on state bids, get three prices and research optimal specifications for the compressor. A vote on whether to purchase was tabled until the next board meeting.
The board of appeals and equalization meeting is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, before that night’s town board meeting.