The Pine River City Council performed business as usual during its Wednesday, May 15, meeting, in the process amending a zoning ordinance, approving new hires, recommending a representative to the sewer board, approving a franchise fee and reviewing the annual audit.
The council first received a review of its audit. Auditor Chris Clasen found the city's financial statements to be fairly stated. This time, in addition to the two weaknesses or deficiencies found with all small cities (lack of segregation of duties and having someone outside the city perform the audit), the auditor found two other possible issues.
First was missing receipts for services rendered to the city. Clerk Terri Dabill was able to resolve this issue. The second issue revolved around "public purpose expenditures" in which some funds from a city account were likely donated to a charitable cause, which is not allowed under state statute. The auditor said this audit was a learning opportunity.
"There are things to work on, yet you're going in the right direction," Clasen said.
The council approved several new hires, including Caleb Peterson and Dylan Carpenter, pending background checks and physical examination before joining the fire department; Sarah Anderson to replace Tammy Hamilton with the local housing authority; and Julia Winkelman as office assistant.
Though not an employee of the city, the council also recommended Gary Siltman to the sewer board as a city representative. Siltman has served in that capacity in the past.
The council unanimously approved a zoning ordinance amendment requesting that the city allow commercial kitchens in a commercial (c-1) zoned building.
The council then set a 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, conditional use permit meeting for a possible daycare on Park Avenue.
In other business May 15, the council:
• Renewed a 20-year gas franchise agreement.
• Agreed to waive the merchant fee for the annual summer farmer's market.
• Approved a peddler's license for the Country Stop, a fruit and vegetable stand set up on the American Legion's property for the past two years.
• Amended a city personnel policy on holiday pay, clarifying that hourly employees get holiday pay when they work a holiday, instead of having the opportunity to take that day off later. Salaried employees who work holidays, however, will have the opportunity to have a day off later.
• Approved a uniform and safety policy and ordered shirts for employees.