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Menahga City Council dips into money market to cover overspending

Interim City Administrator Betty Thomsen informed the city council on Aug. 8 that $27,863 of that amount can be attributed to purchases that were not in the budget and $46,690 are related to excess legal fees.

MenahgaCityHall2022CU.jpg
Menahga City Hall 2022
Shannon Geisen/ Park Rapids Enterprise
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The city of Menahga has exceeded its 2022 budgeted expenditures by $74,553.

Interim City Administrator Betty Thomsen informed the city council on Aug. 8 that $27,863 of that amount can be attributed to purchases that were not in the budget and $46,690 are related to excess legal fees.

She recommended withdrawing $74,553 from the city’s money market account to offset the deficit, which the council approved unanimously.

Expenditures that weren’t the budget, but were approved by the council include a campground loan, cameras, computer upgrades, chloride spraying and contributions to the Initiative Fund and a fire safety program.

Negotiations racked up $32,606 in attorney fees. Council legal action cost the city another $22,055. An ex-personnel case totaled $9,454 in legal fees, plus another $2,073 for an administrative/policies/personnel issue. Only $19,500 had been budgeted for attorney fees for 2022.

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Menahga City Council Resolution Over Expenditures by inforumdocs on Scribd

In related business, the council tabled shuffling the city’s money market investments in the 4M Fund to take advantage of better interest rates.

Given that the council has already exceeded its budgeted expenses this year and needed to dip into these investments, the council agreed it was prudent to delay any action until December, in case any more unforeseen circumstances arise.

According to Thomsen, the city currently has $973,000 in the money market account, but $300,000 is committed to the new water project, leaving $673,000.

In other business, the council did as follows:

  • Approved the hiring of an experienced zoning official assistant from Sourcewell, per the recommendation of the city planning and zoning commission. The official will enforce code violations. The hourly rate will be $55.
  • Amended the city’s fee schedule to include a peddlers/solicitors/transient merchant license at $10 per day or $150 per month or $400 per four-month season. Fees double if an application is not filed within a 14-day timeframe.
  • Approved the purchase of SwipeClock, a timecard-keeping app, at a cost of $250, plus a monthly $5 fee per user.
  • Approved a performance appraisal form for supervisory/department heads.
  • Opened sealed bids for excess vehicles and accepted the highest offers.
  • Changed the Monday, Oct. 10 meeting to Tuesday, Oct. 11 due to Columbus Day.
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Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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