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County Board discusses new state audit regulations


Fri, Nov 7th, 2003
Posted in Features

With the state now allowing counties to hire their own auditors, thus saving dollars, Fillmore County, along with several others counties, have made plans to seek out a suitable firm to take on the work. Policy Coordinator Karen Brown, along with Shirl Boelter and Kandace Johnson of the Auditor/Treasurers Office, briefed the board on Tuesday about the latest developments.

"Waseca County initiated the move with a joint plan for Request For Proposals (RFP), stated Brown. The countys theory is clear and to the point: 1) It is simpler to work together than issue separate RFPs to firms. 2) Joint efforts allow the successful firm the opportunity for a larger volume of work and gain county audit practice. 3) It is believed that by working as a group, the quote will be more cost efficient to the counties.

Waseca County provided a copy of a 24-page RFP for reviewal with the stipulation that those counties participating have their RFP in by Friday, November 21, 2003. Other counties included in this group are Jackson and Renville. Fillmore County was notified that a mandatory state audit would be performed in 2006.

There seemed to be no negative aspects to the proposal as the board gave its approval to participate. If a county doesnt accept the chosen firm, they have the right to choose their own auditor.

Boelter and Johnson informed the board that the Gasb 34 program, a new state compliance system, would be ready for its trial run at the county. The program is a combined general ledger whereby each department within the county now has a single vendors number when making entries. This makes financial reporting within the county and to the state easier. However, it took a lot of work on the part of the Auditor/Treasurers Office to implement initially, as codes had to be compatible when combing ledgers.

Facilities Maintenance

Dale Olson, department head, notified the board about the upcoming courthouse move at the end of January, involving moving departments from the old part of the building to the new part. Asbestos abatement is scheduled for mid February, which allows for approximately 10 working days to get the shuffling of departments completed. This creates a problem, especially with the number of records and equipment the Recorder, Auditor/Treasurer, and Court Administration has. Olson requested the board ask for proposals to assist with the office movement.

"We need to really clean and the new tile will need waxing", stated the courthouses maintenance head. Some things will have to be stored at the fairgrounds or highway department as well. A 10 day window is hard to work with."

Coordinator Karen Brown pointed out Olsons department has been handling the on going process of shuffling furniture, records. etc. as time has permitted. The board agreed with seeking outside assistance. Commissioners Duane Bakke and Chuck Amunrud expect each departments staff to help in the process. Boxing up of items can be done ahead of time and made ready for hired help.

Zoning

Approved the following Conditional Use Permits:

David Swenson, Sect. 11 of Newburg Twp., for a rock quarry. Must continue to work with SWCD to control water runoff from quarry.

Orval Sorum of Orval Sorum and Sons, Sect. 34 of Holt Twp. for a rock quarry. Has 30 days to take care of rock debris that interferes with fence line.

Orval Sorum of Orval Sorum and Sons, Sect. 17 of Amherst Twp., for a rock quarry.

Zoning is working to secure a helicopter to spray thistles. If anyone has or knows of a problem area contact the department at 765-3325 for more information.

Other business

It was noted that scheduling only one Household Waste Collection Day might not be enough. The county will be considering hosting a second event. SCORE funds do help pay for the event. Recycling Coordinator Sandy Benson is working with the schools to aid in the recycling process.

The county farms surveying work requires clarification of boundaries. The board hopes to have the work done as soon as possible before the end of the year.

The countys insurance committee is still working on options for its employees. Continually rising fees have placed the county in a tight situation with severe budget cuts.

Approved purchase of two replacement computers for Law Enforcement at low quote.

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