City Council briefs: June 27, 2013 meeting

Council receives audit of finances
Jackie Knowles of Kern, DeWenter, Viere, LTD. appeared before the City Council to present the results of the 2012 financial audit. The bottom line is that the city’s financial health is in very good shape.
Some highlights:
• The city’s assets exceeded liabilities by $27.55 million, a figure that represents a 6.27 percent increase over last year.
• The city’s governmental funds (sewer, airport, liquor) reported a yearend fund balance of $8.47 million, a $1.09 million increase over a year ago.
• The city’s bonded debt increased 6.55 percent to $1.37 million. This was due the issuance of $2.27 million refunding bonds issued to take advantage of savings in interest.
There were also some concerns:
• There is potentially not enough segregation among accounting duties. This is due to a decreased number of employees, city officials said.
• There were some variances in inventory at the liquor store. The inventory appears greater than what was counted. The Finance Department will have a role in future counts.
• There are a number of city accounts with zero or negative fund balances. City will work to eliminate fund deficits.

Planning Commission looks at funeral homes
At its May 20 meeting, Community Development Director Carie Fuhrman asked the commission to look at allowing funeral homes in its B-2 neighborhood commercial district. Funeral homes are allowed under B-1 and B-3 zoning, but not B-2. Furman told commission members that someone is proposing the opening of a funeral home in Princeton. Councilman Dick Dobson said he welcomed a funeral home in the B-2 district, but not a crematorium. Commission Member Jack Edmonds expressed concern about parking. Commission members stated that the group interested in building a funeral home could bring forward to the commission a request for a zoning change.

Utility project at foreclosed property
Bremer Bank has agreed to pay the city of Princeton $1,900 in sewer and water fees at a property in which it has initiated foreclosure proceedings.
The property, at 2008 First St., Princeton, had not previously been hooked up to water and sewer, a requirement under city ordinance.
Foreclosure action is expected to be completed soon. At that time, Bremer Bank with work with a local contractor to hook up water and sewer to the property, stated bank president Art Skarohlid in a letter to the City Council.

In other City Council news:
n The council approved two temporary licenses. The first was to Christ Our Light Catholic Church, which was granted a 3.2 percent beer license for its Sept. 15 Fall Festival. The second was to Kenneth Velier, which will allow for the sale of Georgia peaches in the parking lot of Merlin’s Restaurant from July 10 to July 31.
n The council accepted a donation of exterior paint valued at $200 from Sherwin Williams of Waite Park. The donation will be used to paint the Princeton Civic Center.