No Village Council recording tonight

Our apologies – the Village did not activate its conference line. If you tried to call in and got no response please let us know?

A noise cancelling microphone had been donated and delivered to the Village Treasurer today.

On Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 3:38 PM, Cindi McPherson, Clerk <bearlakeclerk@gmail.com> wrote:

There is no meeting at 6:30pm this evening.

I have no dates, times or locations of meeting nor any minutes for the sewer meetings..
If and when I do receive those I will add them to the calendar. I am not sure how the minutes will be shared.
We will not be using the device you dropped off as we use our office phone for the call in.
You can pick it up during regular business hours
From: “Cindi McPherson, Clerk” <bearlakeclerk@gmail.com>
Date: August 16, 2017 at 5:36:51 PM EDT
Subject: Re: Bear Lake council meet Aug 16, 2017

We have provide reasonable accommodations; a phone call-in service with our office phone (as your group has requested) for individuals to call in.  The phone is placed in the center of the table.  There are not emails or texts coming through but possibly other individuals calling in that gives a tone.

And as you stated the 302 area code is for conference calls, just a reminder, some calls could be charged.

Cindi McPherson, Clerk

PROPOSED AGENDA Village of Bear Lake Council Meeting August 16, 2017

Many individuals complained about the audio quality of last month’s meeting. A noise cancelling microphone has been donated if someone would be willing to take it to tomorrow night’s meeting and give it to the Council for future use.

[Update: Thank you to the two residents who delivered the microphone to the Village Treasurer this morning 8/16 for use in tonight’s and all future broadcast meetings.]

PROPOSED AGENDA

Village of Bear Lake Council Meeting

August 16, 2017

7:00 p.m. – Village Hall

CALL TO ORDER and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL
ADOPTION of AGENDA
Additions:
PUBLIC COMMENT: Any agenda item ONLY (two (2)-minute maximum)
Note: Members of the public will speak only when recognized by the chair person.
CORRESPONDENCE:

REPORTS/DISCUSSION
MINUTES APPROVAL:
 Regular Meeting July 19, 2017
VILLAGE MAINTENANCE REPORT:
TREASURER’S REPORT:
 Approval of Treasurer’s Report


 Amendments:
BILLS to be PAID:


REIMBURSEMENTS to the GENERAL FUND:
COMMITTEE CHAIR REPORTS:
 PARK:
 STREETS, TREES, SIGNS, LIGHTS, SIDEWALKS:
 WATER:
o Water Ordinance – held from June meeting
 BUILDINGS, GROUNDS, EQUIPMENT:
 BLIGHT/CABA:
o CABA :
o Blight Enforcement Officer report:
 PLANNING COMMISSION:
 MANISTEE COUNTY TRAIL COMMITTEE REPORT:
 BEAR LAKE IMPROVEMENT BOARD REPORT:
 AD HOC COMMITTEE: Policy, Resolution &amp; Ordinance Committee – No report
OLD BUSINESS:
 Appointment of elected positions

NEW BUSINESS:
 Laura Heintzelman from AES – CABA
 Rob Carson &amp; Tamara Buswinka – US 31 corridor
 Mead &amp; Hunt – Ben
 Holiday banner purchase
Follow up on items from July’s council meeting:
 FOIA Detailed Cost Itemization changes.

PUBLIC COMMENT: General Time – Any Village-related item (two (2)-minute maximum)
Note: Members of the public will speak only when recognized by the chair person.
Items on agenda or not listed
UPCOMING EVENTS and ANNOUCEMENTS:
 Community Garage Sales, Saturday, August 19
ADJOURNMENT

REIMBURSEMENTS to the GENERAL FUND:
WAGES July 2017 Amounts

Major Street $191.48
Minor Street $191.48
Park Fund $2560.89
Water Fund $559.00
TOTAL $3502.85
EQUIPMENT RENTAL July 2017 Amounts
Major Street $165.32
Minor Street $165.32
Water Fund $190.49
TOTAL $521.13

Financial implications of infrastructure projects

A reminder – the function of this news media is to provide information not pass judgement.

No one in this community is opposed to progress but how to pay for, and ensure a fair and equitable financial distribution and timeline requires basic financial information. In order for residents to give proper consideration to their potential financial obligations a full disclosure is preferred.

The graphic above comes from this official web site

https://www.accessmygov.com/MunicipalDashboard/FinancialData?uid=2090

 

The following is a depiction of actual financial data supplied by the Village in it’s accounting spreadsheets.

There are 3 major infrastructure projects being proposed.

The costs are divided by the latest official US Census figures.

Obviously the actual sewer transmission costs will depend on the extent of service connections within the Village and whether transmission is gravity or pumped fed. One item of concern in the preliminary language lists REU’s by Lot, not parcel. The final household obligation will depend on the ratio of loan to grant funding, connection fees and unfunded obligations to remove prior septic systems plus necessary household electrical upgraded.

village financial position

The Village amended it’s budget in June:

  • At the request of the USDA & Rural Development, repayment of loan for construction of new DPW building (approx.. $310k over 30 yrs.) must be amended into the 2017-2018 Village Budget. Loan repayment per month approx.. $1,225-$1500) ▪ Motion to amend the budget for repayment of DPW building in 2017-2018 Budget as follows: General $1,800, Water $7,200, Park $1,800, Major $3,600, Minor $3,600, by Bass, seconded by McPherson. Motion Carried 

A member of the Bear Lake News Board asked for more information concerning this item.

Hi Cindi
The June meeting of the Village Council indicates that a request was made by the USDA and Rural Development that the Village amend the Budget to reflect the monthly loan repayment for the new DPW building. I would like to formally request copies of any and all documents sent to the Village by the USDA and Rural Development regarding this matter.
Thank you

This was the response:

From: “Cindi McPherson, Clerk” <bearlakeclerk@gmail.com>
Date: July 14, 2017 at 2:12:43 PM EDT
Subject: Re: FOIA – USDA AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT LOAN LETTER RE: BUDGET AMENDMENT
I received a call from AES which stated we needed to show repayment of the loan for the DPW building in our budget.  There were no documents involved.
Cindi McPherson, Clerk
Village of Bear Lake
And in response:
Thanks for your prompt response, Cindi. Sounds like will have to FOIA from USDA and Rural Development as I am sure they would have to put a requirement such as this in writing.
I’m surprised that the Village would not want something in writing to back up the request and the need to amend the budget.
Thanks.
**************
July 11:

Good afternoon,

we are concerned about this item in the June Village of Bear Lake Minutes:
  1. “At the request of the USDA & Rural Development, repayment of loan for construction of new DPW building (approx.. $310k over 30 yrs.) must be amended into the 2017- 2018 Village Budget. Loan repayment per month approx.. $1,225-$1500)▪ Motion to amend the budget for repayment of DPW building in 2017-2018 Budget as follows: General $1,800, Water $7,200, Park $1,800, Major $3,600, Minor $3,600, by Bass, seconded by McPherson. Motion Carried

Yays: Bass, Evans, Johnson. McPherson, Ronning, Schroeder, Bair

Nays: None”

Under Michigan Freedom of Information Act Public Act 563 of 2014:

Please tell us, when did discussions commence regarding this loan? When was this discussed at a public meeting? As this intends to place an escrow and commit the General Fund does this require a published Notice of Intent? Does this loan require a renegotiation of the Qualifying Statement to authorize exceeding the Village debt to revenue ratio?

Vern Best

No response was received other than that already posted here REVISED FOIA Request Response Letter (2)

Here are the proposed construction plans:

BEAR LAKE PEC

Preliminary_Progress_6-22-16

Changes to FOIA policy

The reasonable rights of residents to ask and receive information about how their local government expends their taxes would seem to be a given.

In the majority of local governments, open and transparent 2 way communication between the elected and those who elected them is seen as both a public responsibility of service.

At the July meeting the following was enacted:

  • FOIA Detailed Cost Itemization/FOIA Policy & Summary
  •  A motion was made to change the wording from 15 minutes to one (1) minute increments (where it applies) when charging for a FOIA request for Labor Cost, by Bass, seconded by Johnson. Motion carried.

Aye: Bass, Evans, Johnson, McPherson Ronning, Bair

Nay: none

Absent: Schroeder

  • Second motion to FOIA Detailed Cost Itemization/FOIA Policy & Summary o A motion was made to start new price change immediately on FOIA Detailed Cost Itemization by Bass, seconded by Johnson. Motion Carried.

Aye: Bass, Evans, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair

Nay: none

Absent: Schroeder

Although the audio recording is poor, a proviso was made to have a legal opinion on this matter before instituting.

This cost itemization is now published to the Village web site. http://www.bearlakemichigan.org/foia.html

 

Changing status of an elected to an appointed postion

In the July Minutes the following was discussed:

  • Clerk discussed possibility of changing Clerk & Treasurer’s positions from elected to appointed. Discussion was held clerk will follow up with information to the council.

In response to this issue from July 19 meeting:

Change the position of clerk and/or treasurer from elected to appointed. (MCL 62.1) The proposed ordinance requires adoption by a vote of two-thirds of the council. It cannot take effect for 45 days following adoption, during which time a petition signed by 10 percent of the registered voters can force a referendum on the issue.
Sample ordinances to appoint the clerk and treasurer are available in Appendices 6 and 7 of the Michigan Municipal League GLV Handbook. Page 111
The Village of (Name of Village) ordains:
Section 1. Establishment of office As authorized by section 1(3) chapter II of the General Law Village Act (1895 PA 3, as amended), the village clerk shall be chosen by nomination by the village president and appointment by a majority vote of the village council.
Section 2. Term of office The term of office of the village clerk shall be two years, beginning [date], after the clerk’s appointment.
Section 3. Effective date This ordinance shall take effect 45 days after the date of its adoption, unless a petition signed by not less than ten percent of the registered electors of the village is filed with the acting village clerk or village office within such 45 days. If a petition is filed within such period of time, this ordinance shall then take effect only upon its approval at the next general village or special village election held on the question of whether the ordinance shall be approved. Notice of the delayed effect of this ordinance and the right of petition under this section shall be published separately at the same time and in the same manner as the ordinance or a notice of the ordinance is published in a local newspaper of general circulation.
Section 4. Adoption This ordinance shall be adopted by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the village council.
Section 5. Publication The village clerk shall certify to the adoption of this ordinance and cause the same to be published as required by law.

Requesting information concerning the proposed Water Improvement Project

On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 4:24 PM, Trudgeon, Sonya – RD, East Lansing, MI <sonya.trudgeon@mi.usda.gov>wrote:

July 18, 2017

TO:                        Mr. Vern Best

Dear Mr. Best:

This is to update you on the status of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request that was received in our office on June 22, 2017.  In accordance with Executive Order 12600, Rural Development is required to notify the submitters of commercial and financial information when it receives a FOIA Request for records that have been submitted to the Government.  In this case, the Village of Bear Lake.  The Village of Bear Lake is currently reviewing the information from the USDA Rural Development.

The USDA, Rural Development, considered your request for a fee waiver.  In your email of June 28, 2017, you requested a fee waiver stating that you are a disabled Vietnam veteran living on social security.  The FOIA allows fees to be waived or reduced if disclosure of the information is deemed to be in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to the public understanding of the operations or activities of the Government, and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.  The Government in this context is referring to the Federal Government.  The disclosure of documents you have requested regarding Village of Bear Lake does not contribute significantly to the understanding of the Federal Government.

Please understand a significant amount of search time and the amount of paper records involved in your request.  The USDA, Rural Development, was just the financial institution for the loans/grants, and the number of pages we find responsive to your request are currently at approximately 895 pages.  The fee that can be access to this request, for the records/pages, is at $0.20 per page.  In addition, the Loan Specialists that have done the research to locate the records have spent approximately 2 hours.  The fee that can be accessed to this request, for search time, is the employee wages plus 16% times the number of hours.  Before we are able to process this request any further, please advise if you are willing to pay the amount.  Your payment will be required before the records can be released.

Failure to receive an response regarding the fees within a reasonable timeframe will be construed as a willingness to pay the fees that will be accessed on this FOIA request.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact me only and directly at Sonya.Trudgeon@mi.usda.gov or via telephone at 517-324-5193.

Sonya K. Trudgeon

Management Control Officer | FOIA Coordinator


July 20:

Good morning Ms. Trudgeon,
obviously none of us can afford the proposed FOIA fees.

It is highly unfortunate that so little information on this major expenditure has been shared with Village residents and property owners.
Therefore we amend our FOIA request.
Under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996 (E-FOIA) and USDA regulations (7 Coded of Federal Regulations, Part 1, Subpart A) 
Request for electronic copies of documents relating to Village of Bear Lake proposed water system improvement project.
1. We are requesting a copy of the official letter guaranteeing a grant/loan has been awarded in FY2017-18
2. We are requesting USDA RD listing of where the Village of Bear Lake Water System upgrade fall in the Preferred Priority List for Michigan.
3. As the Village states that engineering plans have been approved, we request a copy of the official letter stating that.
Sincerely,
Vern Best, Tim Burke, Daniel Heiss, Jeanne Walsh, Alan Swanson, Janene Gee
****

July 26, 2017

TO:                        Mr. Vern Best

Dear Mr. Best:

This is in response to your revised FOIA request that was received by this office on July 20, 2017, in which you revised your request to the following:  Request for electronic copies of documents relating to Village of Bear Lake proposed water system improvement project and the Village of Bear Lake proposed purchase of a snow plow.

  1. Requesting a copy of the official letter guaranteeing a grant/loan has been awarded in FY2017-2018
  2. Requesting USDA RD listing of where the Village of Bear Lake water system upgrade fall in the preferred priority list for Michigan
  3. Request a copy of the official letter stating that the engineering plans have been approved

Please see the attached response letter to this request.  The response letter closes the revised FOIA request 2017-RD-05215-F.

REVISED FOIA Request Response Letter

*******

July 27:

Good morning Ms. Trudgeon,

On behalf of all the Village residents who are requesting this information thank you.
We are also cc’ing Mr. Smith on this reply.
1. Our request to know if funding has been guaranteed in this fiscal year relates not to the snow plow application but to the proposed water project for the Village of Bear Lake as you had previously stated there were almost 900 pages concerning current communication between USDA, Fleis & Vandenbrink and the Village of Bear Lake. Again we would like to express our concern at the lack of substantive information given to Village residents.
2. Does USDA no longer publish a Preferred Project List, showing the points awarded in descending order for water and sewer applications?
3. If there have been changes to the scope and plans for this proposed water system project which will/may affect final costs where can we obtain that information to share with Village residents and property owners? I trust you would agree this is public information?
4. Also we would like to emphasize again that we have received a written confirmation from the Village of Bear Lake Clerk we will receive immediate notification of the publication of the bid package and information of how to access the proposed bid documents to review . Again we trust you will agree this is public information?
5. Funds for the Village of Bear Lake water system project may have been obligated in 2016 but obviously we are now in a different fiscal year and a different political and financial climate. As property owners we are merely trying to get information of the exact cost and what will happen should the bids come back in excess of the actual USDA funds that are available – particularly in the form of grant.
Vern Best
cc: J Walsh, L Vission, T Burke, D Heiss, A Swanson, J Gee, Bear Lake News
************

August 2, 2017

TO:                        Mr. Vern Best

Dear Mr. Best:

Attached is a response letter and any records responsive to your revised FOIA request that is below.  As stated in the attached letter, FOIA Request 2017-RD-05212-F is considered closed.  Any additional FOIA requests received will be considered a new FOIA request, a new time frame will be used, and a new FOIA request number will be assigned.

Sonya K. Trudgeon

REVISED FOIA Request Response Letter (2)

Questions concerning Water Improvement Project

The July Draft Minutes contain the following:

Water: President Bair gave an update on water/well project; everything is in a hold pattern. Waiting on our attorney Hryns to finish some paper work. Project will go out to bid Fall 2017 after this is done.

New verbiage for the Water Ordinance will be tabled again for August meeting while an ordinance is retrieved, per Johnson. Water committee: Johnson, Jared Bair and Gary McBride.

Following the June meeting where questions were asked concerning the validity of water related Village ordinances, the following letter was sent on July 13, 2017:-

Good afternoon Peter,

I received a copy of your letter concerning the inconsistencies and contradictions in the Village Water Ordinance?
As I was Village President and a Trustee involved in most of the issues you discussed I just wanted to be sure you were sent the full version, as well as the add-on Cross Connection and Prohibition of Groundwater Ordinances?
I have long considered they need to bite the bullet and pay for all their ordinances to be codified? For example there are 2 numbered  2012-1. Some were never published at all.
https://bearlakemichigan49614.com/ordinances/ordinance-no-2001-03/ is 2001-01 which for the past 15 years was listed as #3
and
although no one seems to know who actually comprises the ‘bureau’.
Vern Best
Manistee News Advocate have already supplied us with published notices for 2015 and 2016 – It does not appear that 2015-02 was published although it was voted on.
Motion by Hyrns seconded by Bass to approve the Prohibition of use of Groundwater Ordinance. Edwards – yes, Hyrns- yes, Ronning – yes, Gee – No, Bass – yes, Johnson- yes, Bair – Yes. Motion carried.
A copy could not be found in the principle Ordinance File Book.

Status of a new Snow Plow truck

Date: Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 11:31 AM To:

To: Sonya K. Trudgeon

Management Control Officer | FOIA Coordinator | Civil Rights Liaison
Rural Development
United States Department of Agriculture
3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 200 | East Lansing, MI 48823

Phone: (517) 324-5193 | TDD/TTY: (517) 324-5200 | Fax: (855) 790-7473

www.rd.usda.gov | www.rd.usda.gov/mi | www.rd.usda.gov/in | “Committed to the future of rural communities”

cc: Rural Development • Traverse City Area Office

Blake Smith- Area Specialist – blake.smith@mi.usda.gov
1501 S Cass St, Suite A • Traverse City, MI 49684
cc: U.S. Department of Agriculture  email: program.intake@usda.gov
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

NOTICE:

Under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996 (E-FOIA) and USDA regulations (7 Coded of Federal Regulations, Part 1, Subpart A) and Michigan Freedom of Information Act Public Act 563 of 2014:

Request for electronic copies of documents to and from the Village of Bear Lake, its Agents and Representatives relating to:

  1. Proposed application for USDA funding relating to vehicle purchases

On behalf of the citizens, residents and property owners of the Village of Bear Lake, Manistee County, Michigan I am requesting, under Michigan Freedom of Information Act Public Act 563 of 2014, and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996 (E-FOIA) and USDA regulations (7 Coded of Federal Regulations, Part 1, Subpart A), electronic copies of  documentation from USDA of all communications to, from and on behalf of the Village of Bear Lake: emails, electronic documents and copies of posted mail to share with the citizens and property owners of the Village of Bear Lake, Manistee County, MI.

  1. On May 26, 2017 the Village of Bear Lake held a meeting which has been described as either a Special Meeting, a Special Information meeting, a Public Hearing, a Public Hearing for a Notice of Intent to Apply to USDA, as well as a Public Meeting. I am attaching the Notice as published in the Manistee News Advocate. It was not published on the Village of Bear Lake web site as required under Michigan Law. [[Public Act 528 of 2012, which took immediate effect Dec. 31, 2012, amended the MI Open Meetings Act requirements for special meeting notices.] I am also attaching the Notice as posted at the Bear Lake Post Office which is the only ADA accessible location. It should be noted that barely a tenth of local residents subscribe the Manistee News Advocate and at least a third have route delivery so do not visit the Post Office.

Please note the discrepancy between the time listed on each Notice.

In prior Minutes it was stated a USDA grant of $39,500 had been applied for:

February 2017 – Equipment: G. McPherson reported proposed purchase of used/newer dump truck. Reconditioned truck around $40K. Will keep current truck as a supplement for salting streets. Will be putting in a grant for USDA and Revenue Sharing.

March
Approval of Grant Applications:

Motion was made by Bass to submit grant for a plow truck in the amount of $39,500.00 with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (LRBOI), seconded by Johnson, motion carried. Aye: Bass, Edwards, Johnson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: None Absent: McPherson

Motion was made by Ronning to submit a grant for a plow truck in the amount of $39,500.00 with the USDA, seconded by Bass, motion carried. Aye: Bass, Edwards, Johnson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: None Absent: McPherson

Passed on May 16, but only received on June 13, the following Resolution states:

RESOLUTION # 2017 – 7  Village of Bear Lake

Acquisition of Blade Truck

Upon motion made by Schroeder, seconded by McPherson , the following resolution was adopted:

“RESOLVED, that the Village of Bear Lake, Michigan, does hereby accept the terms of the Agreement as received from the United States Department of Agriculture-Rural Development, and the that the Village of Bear Lake does hereby specifically agree, but not by way of limitation, as follows:

  1. To provide match funds necessary to complete the acquisition of a Blade Truck for Snow Removal, in the amount of Twenty-four thousand ($24,000) dollars to match the grant authorized by the USDA-Rural Development.
  2. To comply with any and all terms of said Agreement including all terms not specifically set forth in the foregoing portions of this Resolution.”

The following aye votes were recorded: 7

The following nay votes were recorded: 0

STATE OF MICHIGAN

COUNTY OF MANISTEE

,I Cindi McPherson, Clerk of the Village of Bear Lake, Michigan, do hereby certify that the above is a true and correct copy of the Resolution relative to the Application for funding with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which Resolution was adopted by the Village Council at a meeting held May 17, 2017.

Please explain – “relative to the Application for funding with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources,” ?

When the Clerk was asked if this was an error the reply was that this language came directly from USDA.

When also asked about any required match the reply was “this is a grant there is no match”. However here are the Minutes of that meeting on May 26, 2017

THE VILLAGE OF BEAR LAKE COUNCIL

SPECIAL MEETING

Bear Lake Village Hall 12376 Virginia Street

Friday May 26, 2017 at 3:30pm

Unapproved Minutes

  • Called to Order by President Bair
  • Pledge of Allegiance was said
  • Roll call: President Bair, Treasurer King, Clerk McPherson Staff; Jared Bair

Council: Bass, Evans, Johnson, and Schroeder

Absent: McPherson, Ronning and Gibson

  • Guests: 0
  • Public Comment: None
  • Plow Truck Grant:
    o Information was reviewed regarding the Plow Truck Grant from the USDA Rural Development
  • o $14,000.00 possible grant from USDA Rural Development
  • Public Comment: None
  • Adjournment at 3:10pm

Respectfully submitted by Clerk McPherson

As we have been unable to ascertain what is being proposed, even though a standing FOIA filed under Michigan Freedom of Information Act Public Act 563 of 2014 and Title VI is on file, we are requesting documentation from USDA of all communications, emails, electronic documents and copies of mail to share with the citizens and property owners of the Village of Bear Lake, Manistee County, MI.

No response was received specific to this section of a broader FOIA request.

The status of a grant/match is unknown at this time.

“This public meeting was required by the Rural Development. The meeting was for individuals who wanted information on the Plow Truck Grant.  No decisions were made no voting was done.”

June 15:

So – please explain the following:

1. Has the Village applied for 1 or 2 USDA grant or grants?

2. If so, when

3. If so under which USDA grant program

4. If so what is the Village’s financial obligation to match any funds received.

5. Which Budget Line Item will that match come from

6. What was the legal nature of the meeting held on May 26 – you have previously stated this was a Public Hearing of a Notice of Intent? If that was the case the notice as published may not be legally formatted.

While our subscribers applaud the efforts of the Village to secure new/ newer equipment we would have liked the opportunity to have more information ahead of that May 26 meeting?  As that was not provided we are asking for that information now.

Response June 29:

1. One (1) grant
2. April 24, 2017
3. Rural Development
4. The village is obligated to find financing for the remaining balance or fund it.
5. We are still waiting to hear back on additional funding
6. Rural development required the Public Meeting.  It was public information meeting on the Snow Plow Truck Grant.  If the public had questions they could attend, no one from the public attended.

Errors and Omissions 2

A past subscriber was a Certified Public accountant who was previously employed by the State of Michigan Department of Treasury.

In prior Audits the Village has been advised in the strongest possible terms to maintain a separation of duties and financial access.
The Clerk keeps the books and accounts. The Treasurer receives, accounts for and disperses approved funds. Each maintains separate spreadsheets which should match independently. See Page 18 of the attached Michigan Municipal League Handbook for Village Officials
Bank Reconciliation
All bank accounts must be reconciled to the local unit accounting records monthly. The Clerk’s records must agree with or reconcile to the Treasurer’s and the bank’s records. A reconciliation sheet should be prepared in duplicate for each month with one copy for the Clerk and one copy for the Treasurer. Canceled checks are to be filed with the bank statement to which they apply.
In addition – we note in the June meeting an authorization for Trustee Schroeder to be a signatory on checks? This is not permitted under both the Uniform Accounting Procedures and the General Law Village Act :
DISBURSEMENTS
● Dual signatures are required for all checking accounts (except the separate tax collection checking account). The dual signatures MUST be the clerk (or deputy clerk) and the treasurer (or deputy treasurer).
Current FY To Date spreadsheets should have been presented for both the Budget meeting and to approve amendments at all Council meetings.
The financial advisor compares the two reports as being the difference in knowing only what is in a current checking account without taking into account a) how long those funds must cover expenses (in a unit of government this is from one tax receipt year to the next) and b) how much is actually ‘unencumbered’ i.e how much has been committed as a future debit.
In response to a request for a current financial report the following was received.

Errors and Omissions 1

In response to comments and questions concerning the recording of local government meetings our advisor published this previous post.

Upon reviewing the July Village Council Draft Minutes – published here – subscribers have noted the following questions when comparing the Draft Minutes to the audio recording.

[It should be noted that the audio quality of the new Village telephone conference line is poor. We have offered to provide a noise cancelling microphone as it appears the conference line is being provided via a wireless device.]

Following the May Council meeting, in time for this matter to be corrected in June, the Clerk was alerted that the Motion to approve the newly revised agreement concerning the MCCF Blight Elimination Fund was not included.

“A Subscriber has noted the DRAFT Minutes do not contain the discussion and Motion (by Johnson. Second by McPherson) to accept the amended CABA Blight Elimination Fund agreement?”

By also approving the June Minutes in July, without correcting that omission, there is no official authorization to sign and enter into an amended agreement to oversee the Blight Elimination, not CABA, Fund with the Manistee County Community Foundation.

See http://www.manisteefoundation.org/component/funds/view/3889