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The cityís annual audit is proceeding smoothly and will be completed soon according to a report from Councilman Jim Bockelman, chairman of the cityís Finance Team.

The team met on February 10 and at that time the cityís surplus cash level was high which is typical for this time of year. Bockelman said how to use that surplus was a subject of team discussion. Options include paying down debt, investing in interest bearing accounts, capital improvements and/or lowering rates. He said a General Fund Contingency Report for last fiscal year indicates a surplus of $107,090 which can be used for capital improvements. The present cost of conducting banking business was also discussed along with possible options.

Arla Boots representing the Senior Center presented a funding request from the center and the team recommended the request be considered during the cityís next budget process.

Bockelman said water and sewer rates for the Salmon Bowling Alley were again discussed and again reached no conclusion.

The possibility of raising dumping rates at the Waste Water Treatment Plant was considered. The team feels the current charges should be reviewed and at present it thinks rates need to be increased but will consult with facility staff before making a formal recommendation to the City Council. Ed Peterson of PEPís Septic Service gave the team an overview of how he utilizes the service and the charges involved.

Tammy Bowerman of Jones and Casey Funeral Home requested that she be allowed to make cemetery gravesite opening and closing fee payments on-line. Her request was placed on the Councilís February 18 agenda where, after consulting with City Clerk Mary Benton, the council decided the on-line payments should be allowed. City Code 12-1-10 will have to be amended in order to accept that form of payment. A motion was made and unanimously passed to begin the process of changing the ordinance.

The Finance Team discussed problems being experienced with the heat pump at the Police Department. Estimated cost of system replacement is from seven to eight thousand dollars. Bockelman said nothing was budgeted this fiscal year for a new system and said the team suggested alternative heat sources could be used until the next budgeting cycle. In the meantime more information regarding repair to the current system will be obtained and Police Chief KV Felker was asked to submit to the council a request for heat pump replacement or repair along with an opinion on when the work needs to be done.

A question of whether or not an official agreement is needed between the city and volunteer labor was raised and forwarded to the City Council. The council placed the matter on its March 4 agenda.

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