HARBERT — Members of the Chikaming Township Board during their Oct. 14 meeting received a review of the audit report for the 2020-21 fiscal year that ended March 31, 2021.

The review was presented by Brian Wisneski, CPA from the firm of Hungerford Nichols, who said that the report showed that the township remained in good financial shape.

Financial highlights stated in the report included information that the assets plus deferred outflows of resources of the township exceeded its liabilities plus deferred inflows of resources on March 31 by $20,456,249 (net position), an increase of $55,976 over the prior fiscal year. Of that amount, $11,138,877 (unrestricted net position) may be used to meet Chikaming’s ongoing obligations to citizens and creditors.

During the past fiscal year the township received $110,440 in local revenue sharing from the Pokagon-New Buffalo Area Local Revenue Sharing Board, and those funds were unrestricted and were used to support general operations of the township.

As of March 31 the township’s Governmental Funds reported combined ending fund balances of $3,190,198 representing an increase of $128,398 over the prior fiscal year. The unassigned fund balance of $1,827,417 is available for spending at the township’s discretion.

At the end of the prior fiscal year the township’s Proprietary Funds reported a combined total net position of $13,657,106; a decrease of $247,592 from the 2019-20 fiscal year. The unrestricted net position total was $9,595,804.

A concern in the report were figures showing that both the Sewer Fund and the Water Fund were under water.

The Sewer Fund showed an operating loss of $135,939 while the Water Fund showed an operating loss of $65,841, for a combined total of $201,780.

A motion to accept the audit report as presented was approved unanimously.

A subsequent motion to renew the contract with Hungerford Nichols for their auditing services also received unanimous support.

In other business, after discussion on the subject there was a 5-0 vote to approve a motion to renew the contract for Granicus so they may continue their work helping to manage the township’s rental program. Their work includes compliance monitoring, address identification, and establishing a 24/7 hotline.

Their current contract expires in December, and the new annual contract for $25,731 includes a seven percent increase, or an approximate $1,700 boost over the prior contract.

Also on the agenda, the police department’s request to purchase a new Security System DVR to replace the old one that was damaged in a recent storm was granted.

Another motion to allow Police Chief Todd Taylor and Sergeant Brandon Jones to attend a Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police training program in Grand Rapids was similarly approved unanimously.

A number of various Zoning Ordinance and budgetary amendments were approved.

Trustee Bill Marske gave thanks to fellow trustee Rich Sullivan and all the others who gave their time and talents to reviewing Zoning Ordinance NO. 148 and coming up with the appropriate amendments.

Treasurer Liz Rettig reported that 96 percent of the summer property tax bills had been paid.

“I think we’re doing pretty good,” she commented.

Finally, during the Utility Board meeting that convened after the monthly board meeting adjourned, it was the consensus of the members that, in light of the figures detailed in the audit report, the status of the sewer and water rates will have to be reviewed prior to the new 2022-23 fiscal year that begins April 1.

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