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2016 audit confirms village finances in good shape

Auditing firm CliftonLarsonAllen's April Anderson walked Somerset village trustees through the 2016 audit report highlights at the June 20 meeting. She noted that deficiencies referred to in the report pertaining to a lack of staff participation and oversight are common to small municipalities. Municipalities the size of Somerset cannot afford the manpower or hours that it would take to fully undertake and produce a complete audit report on their own. Those responsibilities are typically farmed out to a firm like CliftonLarsonAllen to be completed. Anderson reported the village's finances overall, are in good condition.

The general fund benefited from better performance by the village utility services.

"The unassigned balance in your general fund, those are your reserves available to spend, increased significantly from $246,483 in 2015 to $476,912 in 2016. That is due to better cash flow from your sewer utility to which you were previously advancing money. That's a positive. Overall, revenues exceeded expenditures by $641,783 due partially to those debt proceeds that you now have coming in as revenue (sewer utility). The percent of unassigned fund balance to general fund expenditures is a benchmark we use to gauge your financial health. You can see that increased significantly from 12.4 percent last year to 22.8 percent this year. Your policy calls for 25 percent so you're near that goal. We generally recommend 25-33 percent. If all else stayed equal and you didn't have any new revenue coming in, you'd have about three to four months of reserves to draw on," explained Anderson.

For a copy of the 2016 Audit Summary, contact the Village Treasurer, Andrea Otto at 715-247-3395 or by email at

Well talk

Dave Schofield, Project Engineer with MSA Professional Services, Inc., informed trustees that a new tentative site for well #5 has been located on the Vanasse property west of Highway 35 on the north side of town. Trustees approved a preliminary document providing $250 to pay for an easement for access to the property, the drilling of a test well, and the setting of a suggested purchase price of $15,000 to be negotiated once a productive well site can be confirmed.

"We've had some preliminary discussions with Mr. Vanasse and generally speaking, he's okay with a test well in that location. We've put together an easement agreement that includes a map showing the location intended for the test well. This wouldn't be the final document. This is just for the test well," said Schofield.

If the well site works out, a final conveyance document would need to be approved by the board at a later date.

Other business

• Trustees approved Resolution 2017-05 Compliance Maintenance Annual Report (CMAR) with an overall GPA of 3.94 out of a possible 4.0 rating.

• Trustees approved Test Well Construction Change Order #1 for $960 to abandon well site #4.

• Trustees also approved Test Well Construction Pay Request #1 for $15,665.50 payable to Municipal Well & Pump.

• Trustees approved Frances Street Pay Request #2 for $336,564.88 to A-1 Excavating.

• A question as to whether $76,800 in repair costs to the water tower could be covered under a warranty provide by Engineering America was referred to village legal council, Anders Helquist, for further review.