Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Orr mayor: ‘Cleanest audit I’ve ever sat through’

Melissa Roach
Posted 7/18/18

ORR-The city council here reviewed the annual audit of the city’s finances for 2017. “Cleanest audit I’ve ever sat through,” said Mayor Joel Astelford. The general fund ended the year with a …

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Orr mayor: ‘Cleanest audit I’ve ever sat through’

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ORR-The city council here reviewed the annual audit of the city’s finances for 2017. “Cleanest audit I’ve ever sat through,” said Mayor Joel Astelford. The general fund ended the year with a decrease in fund balance of $8,526, remedied by a transfer of $8,000 from the liquor store fund. The ending cash balance for the general fund was $42,408. The liquor store took in $586,975 last year, showing an increase of $19,370 over 2016. Sales of both food and liquor were up from the previous year, adding to the profits.

The airport showed a loss of $97,295, with the city using funds from its wastewater fund to cover the deficit. City Clerk and Treasurer Cheri Clark noted the city will probably amend the budget to reflect any deficit be borrowed from the general fund or liquor store fund. The Tourist Information Center showed a loss of $1,385, to be offset with lodging tax administrative revenues.

The auditors have suggested the city maintains funds to cover three to six months of expenses. The city currently has funds to cover three and a half to four months of expenses.

In other business, the council discussed a proposal to rent tables and chairs from the Orr Community Center (formerly Orr American Legion). Mayor Astleford did not feel it was something the city wanted to get into. Councilors discussed rental options but felt if the city did go that route, a rental policy would need to be drafted, as well as a rental fee and security deposit oaid. “My thought is at this time is no,” said Astleford. “I would just assume we set a policy that the table and chairs don’t leave the building.”

The council also approved a resolution authorizing the city to commit and transfer a community fund balance of $367 to the ORR Center. The community library was moved to the center in June. The community fund was donations and book sales specifically for the support and operation of the library.

In other action, the council:

 Approved an invoice from Ziegler for $2,787 for repairs to the generator at the water plant.

 Approved the slate of 2018 election judges: Dana Erkkila-Head Judge, Laura Manai, Rosemary Hoffer, Carol Woehrle, Roni Carr, Loretta Ahola, Arlene Johnson.

 Approved the transfer of funds from the liquor store fund to ATM bank account to cover bank service charges and credit card fees for July through December in the amount of $294.

 Conducted evaluations of full time employees: Paul Koch, Rocky Hoffman, Laura Manai, Cheri Carter, Chet Nieman, and Tyae Pattenn.

Reports from departments

Airport department head Rocky Hoffman addressed repairs needed for the hangar. He said he is obtaining quotes for the repairs, which would take about a week. The project would include repairing the northwest wall, as well as possible issues with the man door and garage door.

Chet Nieman said the liquor store had a great Fourth of July holiday. He also reported the need for a new refrigerator.

Ambulance Director Donna Hoffer reported on new medical director Dr. Jay Knaak, as well as updates on training sessions with Knaak and eight new first responders. She also asked for council approval for shelves at the ambulance hall in the amount of $522.

Cheri Carter reported the new City of Orr brochure was now available at the Tourist Information Center. The brochure has a listing of businesses and area attractions.

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