Saugatuck's Accounting & Auditing Firm Praises City's Financial Management And Stability
The accounting and auditing firm Berthiaume & Company extended accolades on Monday night to the City of Saugatuck staff for their management of the finances.
The firm provided its audit findings to the Saugatuck City Council during its meeting this week.
In the 2014/2015 fiscal year audit report, Kenneth Berthiaume, CPA and head principal of government auditing, specifically commended Saugatuck City Treasurer Peter Stanislawski for his professional and stalwart work.
The city changed auditors last year; the previous firm was Rehmann Robson and now employs Berthiaume & Company to handle the state-required auditing of the city finances.
Saugatuck’s general fund balance at the end of the 2014/2015 fiscal year (June 2015), came to $1.7 million, assuring a more than suitable rainy day fund balance, the audit report shows.
“That ($1.7 million in the general fund) is the accumulation of many years,” Stanislawski told The Local Observer.
He also gave the Saugatuck City Council his own report Monday night, detailing how the city has been spending its public funds.
“The city is in great financial shape,” he noted.
The 2015/2016 general fund came in at $2.3 million. One of the major expenses and projects the city has planned for this year is the expansion of the parking lot at Oval Beach to accommodate more vehicular traffic at the popular destination spot during the summer season.
The city is gearing up to distribute RFPs (request for proposals) for the project soon, reported Stanislawski.
“We want to start and be completed (with the parking lot improvements) before Memorial Day, but a lot of it depends on mother nature—we can’t start soon if the weather doesn’t allow it,” added Stanislawski.
The projected is estimated to cost $400,000, funds which have already been allocated.
Along with the parking lot improvements, the city is planning to purchase a sand-cleaning machine—or beach cleaner—as well as a tractor to pull that machine.
Not causing beach erosion and working with the varied topography, the machine has a device that rakes and sifts over the beach sand to remove garbage and other foreign matter.
In other Saugatuck city business, the city council Monday approved several annual housekeeping items, including the Chain Ferry Management Agreement.
The council gave its thumbs up to continue to have Marilyn Starring, local owner of the Star of Saugatuck, manage the iconic ferry as she has done now for many years.
Starring is in charge of operating the Saugatuck Chain Ferry, which carries passengers across the Kalamazoo River.
The chain ferry is one of the most popular attractions in the resort town, becoming a must-see/must try ride for visitors to the area. Starring’s expertise has kept the ferry safe and well run, say officials.