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Elk Mound approves three-year audit contract for $53,000

By LeAnn R. Ralph

ELK MOUND  —  The Elk Mound Village Board has approved a three-year audit contract with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause for $53,335.

The total cost for the 2018 audit will be $15,830; the total cost for the 2019 audit will be $18,330; and the total cost for the 2020 audit will be $19,175, said Kim Shult of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause at the Elk Mound Village Board’s October 3 meeting.

Over the past six years, the increase was kept to inflation, but 3 percent is “not feasible anymore,” Shult said.

The increase for 2018 will be $2,500, she noted.

During the contract for 2015, 2016 and 2017, Elk Mound adopted a new pension standard.

“We underestimated the time it would take to implement,” Shult said.

Baker Tilly quoted $500 to implement the new standard, but the actual implementation took three times as long as anticipated, she said.

The new pension standard adds about eight hours to the audit time, and it adds six pages to the audit and financial statements, Shult said.

The pension standard is only one of 17 standards passed since the last contract Elk Mound approved, she said.

The new pension standard also has an impact on the report to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

The PSC does not recognize the standard, so Shult said she must prepare a different report.

The cost for the PSC annual report, which is included in the total cost for the audit, is $890 for 2018; $1,190 for 2019; and $1,250 for 2020, according to information Shult provided to the village board.

The audit must also include a state financial report form, and the cost for the state report is $790 for 2018; $990 for 2019; and $1,025 for 2020.

Terry Stamm, village trustee, said the village might spend more money trying to find another auditor and to bring the company up to speed on the village’s finances.

The 2017 rate is $84 per hour, which is far less than an attorney charges, Shult said.

In 2011, the village received a 30 percent discount on the audit because the village had gone out to look for other estimates, she said.

Finding a new client to replace Elk Mound also would cost Baker Tilly more money as well, Shult said,  noting that her supervisors had flagged the $84 per hour fee and had told her she needed to have a plan to reduce the cost of doing the audit to reflect the fee.

One of the ways Shult said she had “saved money” on the contract was to not attend village board meetings.

Finding a new auditor would take “more of my time,” said Pat Hahn, village clerk-treasurer.

Even soliciting new estimates from other auditing firms takes quite a lot of work and time, she said.

The Elk Mound Village Board unanimously approved a motion to accept the three-year audit agreement with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause.

Village President Steven Abraham and Village Trustee Paula Turner were absent from the meeting.

Voting in favor of the motion were village trustees Greg Kipp, Rebecca Livingston, Terry Stamm, Deborah Creaser-Kipp and Montana Boettcher.

Kipp chaired the meeting in Abraham’s absence.

Other business

In other business, the Elk Mound Village Board:

• Approved by consensus a proposal presented during the public comments portion of the meeting for Cub Scout Pack 71 to build a Martin house by the pavilion next to the parking lot of the village hall. The bird house is part of a wildlife habitat project.

• Approved a multiple dog license application for Allen and Cathy Christensen, 305 Mound Park Drive.

• Denied a rezone request, based on the recommendation of the Elk Mound Plan Commission, for TJR Property Management for 301/303 Mound Park Drive. The request was for Residential 4, which would allow the property owner to rebuild larger unit than the duplex which exists on the lot now.

• Approved another ice rink lease agreement with Steve and Margaret Dieter, 307 University Street. The agreement includes snow storage. The cost has been for $400 per year for many years, Hahn said.

• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Yasmine Lant for The Pourhouse.

• Approved an Eagle Scout water fountain project at the village park.

• Approved scheduling the November 21 meeting, which is the day before Thanksgiving, to November 19.

• Postponed action on an agenda item for a village youth council. The idea had been proposed by Steven Abraham, village president, but Abraham was absent from the meeting.

• Approved purchasing two 13-inch “smart” traffic signs for North and South Holly Avenue from Radar Sign at a cost of $7,380. The police citation account will fund the purchase. In the past, the police citation account has been used to purchase a security video system for the village hall, said Chad Weinberger, Elk Mound police chief. The signs will be beneficial for the community in view of concerns about traffic and also considering a motorcycle crash in July in which speed was likely a factor, he said.

• Agreed no action was needed on revoking a bartender operator’s license for Kari Reimann at The Pourhouse. Reimann was cited by the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department for serving an underage individual, but she is no longer employed at The Pourhouse, and The Pourhouse has turned in her license to the village, Police Chief Weinberger said.

• Approved an agreement with Dunn County to continue the tax collection agreement for 2018 and 2019. The cost is $2.30 per parcel for 354 parcels at a total cost of $820.

• Approved holding a village Christmas gathering at the Elk Mound Community Center December 5 following the village board meeting. 

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