The City of Grove received high ratings in their annual audit of financial statements for fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 at the Grove City Council regular meeting Tuesday night.
Auditor Robert Kershaw of Kershaw CPA & Associates of Ponca City/Muskogee compared Grove to other cities.
“The City of Grove, compared to other cities this size, is the best well-oiled machine that I have seen in my travels," Kershaw said.
City manager Bruce Johnson directed the credit to the councilors.
“That goes back to you guys,” said Johnson to the council, “When I first got here that was one of your directions to make sure that the financial statements were cleaned up and that we were spending our money appropriately and the policies and procedures you guys set in place that you have recommended and implemented have gone a long way to helping that.”
Kershaw also credits the new software that has been utilized as well.In related business, Johnson discussed changing auditors every three to five years to, as a policy, increase the checks and balances protection for the city and to give the audit “fresh eyes,” he said.
The councilors also discussed the accounts payable register which includes discussion on whether the Grove Chamber of Commerce rent should be included in the payables each month. While there was some question as to whether the rent was considered a “service” which is performed by the Chamber the board voted to approve the rent as an acceptable payable. Grove Area Chamber Board President Lisa Friden said the chamber board would address the terminology of “rent” and consider an alternative description for the item. Mayor Gary Trippensee, however, voted not to include the rent payment invoices in the city’s payments to the Chamber in the future.
In other business the council:
• Approved $43,605 longevity bonuses for all city employees, full and part time and a one time salary adjustment for the full time employees that have now been employed for four years. The item is termed a longevity bonus, since, as staff pointed out they are no longer allowed to call it a Christmas bonus.
The city give’s employees the bonus in December and includes $5 per month for every month the employee is employed with the city of Grove, not to exceed $1200 per year, beginning after four years of employment.
Employees of GMSA were paid $11,570 in Longevity and employees of the City of Grove were paid $27,835 for longevity.
For employees that do not qualify for this policy, the city council authorized a $50 for part time and $150 bonus for full time, both less than four years employment.
Employees of GMSA were paid $2,600 in One Time Salary Adjustments and employees of the City of Grove were paid $1,600 in One Time Salary Adjustments.
In other business the city manager reported that more than 40,000 pills were collected at the prescription drug dump on Saturday. The event, which partnered Grove Community Action Network, the Grove Police Department and the Claremore Police Department, was held at the Grove Civic Center and was an effort to curb the access of prescription drugs to teenagers where they can be abused.
Johnson also asks Council for authorization to spend up to $10,000 a year to produce a newsletter for the citizens of Grove that will be included in their GMSA billing. The Council directed the office staff to implement the newsletter on the back of the utility bills rather than outsourcing the production. They are hoping the have the newsletter included in the first utility bill in January.
The council also approved authorization to go out for bids for asphalt materials for the fiscal year 2010-2011 budget.
Rollie Cornelson of Dogwood Drive to the to the Grove Zoning Board of Adjustment and approved street closings for Grove’s annual Christmas parade.