City of Staples audit shows pension changes
The City of Staples had few issues on their annual audit, other than a change in the way pensions are reported in the budget.
At the June 28 council meeting, Chuck Mayer of Mayer, Porter and Nelson accounting firm detailed the audit and Julie Nelson of the same firm explained the pension issue.
Mayer said they found no instances of noncompliance or other matters to report in their audit. He said the city had 39 percent of next year’s revenues in their fund balance, while the state auditor recommends at least 35 to 60 percent, so Staples is on the low end of that range.
Nelson said the main change in the pension law is that governments are now required to report their proportionate share of the pension’s liability, as if future payments are reported for the current budget.
Nelson said that’s because the state wants pension liabilities to be reported the same way other liabilities are reported. By including pension liabilities, it will more accurately show the financial status of the government for things like bond ratings.
Nelson said the city did not follow the new guidelines for the Staples Fire Department Relief Association because of the extra costs involved in obtaining an actuarial valuation of the pension program and because most of the fire relief pension has been funded by the city and the changes would be insignificant.
The council also approved a Conditional Use Permit for Tim Voeltz to construct at 16 ft by 28 ft addition to an existing 28 ft by 34 ft garage at 506 3rd St SW.