Wadena County Commissioners heard from the Minnesota State Auditor’s office an audit of the county finances came up clean.

Bob Johnson, from the Office of the State Auditor noted that the audit showed things were much cleaner than they have been in the past few years. Johnson summarized the audit saying internal control over financial reporting showed no material weakness and no significant deficiencies were identified. Wadena County qualified as a low-risk auditee due to this good audit report.

The only area of concern shown came up when three of 17 small purchase procurement transactions were tested for compliance with federal regulations. This sample showed two of three samples were not in compliance. The county stated that the purchases were done through a government contract or cooperative purchasing agreement, but could not provide documentation of the purchases.

The audit recommended the county document the history of procurement transactions, including contract selection.

The audit showed the total fund balance increased from $65,128,415 in 2017, to $66,665,823 in 2018, a 2.4% increase.

Major highlights of change in finances included a major jump in expenditures in 2018 due largely to the construction of highways and streets, a total cost of about $11.7 million. While that was disproportionately high from previous year's, Johnson wasn't concerned about it.

"It’s in much better shape than it looks on paper," Johnson said.

Commissioner Sheldon Monson said the audit wasn't surprising as they knew they had spent money on road infrastructure and a payout to South Country Health Alliance.

Johnson added that the county has been handling their taxes well. He said their effort to increase taxes at a low rate over time rather than large increases was generally appreciated by taxpayers.

Someplace Safe

Commissioners heard a report from Someplace Safe staff who shared that they have outgrown their current location on Jefferson Street in Wadena and will soon move into an office space across the street from Larry's Family Pizza in Wadena.

They are looking to see the area go purple on Thursday, Oct. 24, in recognition of The Day of Purple. On this day, many community members will wear purple clothing as a way to honor and remember those who have lost their lives to domestic violence while bringing hope to survivors in the community.

The staff reminded the group that Someplace Safe is a free resource to anyone who is a victim of crime. They also spoke about their recent chili fundraiser, plans to bring back a 5K run and a French toast feed fundraiser.

In other notes:

Commissioners approved the new job description for the Public Health Lead Accountant/ Business Manager to be a grade 54 effective Oct. 14, 2019 and that Penny Poling be placed on Grade 54, Step 4, $24.15 per hour on that date.