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Clean audit for Perham

An audit of Perham’s 2012 financial statements showed “no major concerns or deficiencies,” according to a representative from auditor Brady Martz.

Brian Opsahl, a certified public accountant and senior manager at Brady Martz, briefed Perham city councilors on the audit at a meeting last week.

Overall, he said, the news was good.

Due to actual revenues exceeding budget, the city ended up with about $92,000 more in its general fund than anticipated, ending the year with a balance of about $564,000, or 40 percent of the city’s total general fund expenditures in a typical year – “a good number” to be at, according to Opsahl.

Some of the higher-than-expected revenues came from charges for services at the airport and police department, miscellaneous reimbursements, property taxes and special assessments, and other sources.

There were also increases to the city’s four proprietary funds, with the gas, water, sewer and wastewater, and municipal liquor store funds all ending the year with higher balances than they had the year before.

Increases in the gas and liquor store funds, and part of the increase in the water fund, were due to operating revenues exceeding expenditures, the audit states. Also contributing to the water fund’s increase was a capital contribution from governmental funds.

The wastewater fund increased due to state and federal grants of about $800,000 for capital projects, along with capital contributions from governmental funds.

For financial reporting purposes, the Perham Area Community Center and Perham Golf Course are considered legally separate from the city government, and are not included in the audit.

In all, the city wrapped up the year with assets exceeding liabilities by more than $33 million.

The audit also points out that “growth and property values are steadily increasing” in Perham, and predicts that, “Future years will require additional bonding for construction projects related to replacing and improving existing infrastructure and utility extensions to keep pace with the community’s continued industrial, commercial and residential growth.”

While no major deficiencies were found by the auditors, Brady Martz did suggest that the city start breaking out its federal dollars from non-federal, in order to make accounting easier in the future.

“The city officials did a very good job, and I’d like to thank Kelcey (city manager Kelcey Klemm) and his crew for doing a great job,” said councilor James Johnson at the end of Opsahl’s presentation.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Perham Focus more than five years ago, and has since worn many hats as writer, editor and page designer. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their one-year-old son, Simon, and their yellow lab, Louisa. 

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