Havana’s town council met Tuesday morning to discuss several current projects and citizen requests. Bob Powell of the James A. Moore & Co. brought good news to the board about their annual audit for the year ending September 30, 2012.
“This is an unqualified, or good, audit, with no material weaknesses and no compliance reports. It’s a clean opinion,” said Powell, adding that next year the town audit will need to include an audit element for all of the town’s grants.
“The Town of Havana is just about where it was last year. The general fund lost about $100,000 and the enterprise fund did the same. Your cash and CDs are at the same as last year. What keeps these numbers off is the sewer funds. The rates are very low and we keep talking about raising them,” said Powell.
“Our commitment during these economic times was to keep utility rates down,” said town manager Howard McKinnon, adding that the town has gone several years without raising sewer costs. “The base rate (of utilities) hasn’t changed in a number of years,” he said.
McKinnon also said gas revenues are down because of a mild winter. “Our citizens have had lower rates in gas,” said McKinnon.
“It’s pretty amazing to only be $100,000 down - that’s a great job, Mr. McKinnon,” said councilman Matt Thro in the board’s acceptance of the audit.
“Year after year, we keep getting good audits,” said Havana mayor T.J. Davis.
The council also approved an investment policy for the town which is allowed under law. The local policy allows a governmental body more leeway in what to invest town money in.
“We are very much aware of protecting public funds. I would never recommend any high-risk investing,” said McKinnon.
“The number one thing is to protect the principal,” said auditor Powell.
The town approved renewing its contract with Capital Health Plan for its employees at a rate that is 1.4% lower than last year. McKinnon said it’s the same plan as the town has had the past few years.
Also approved was dividing a lot at 612 South Main Street on which a church and a mobile home are already based on. “It’s been functioning as two pieces of property for several years. This cleans it up so the church is on one lot and the mobile home on the second lot,” said McKinnon.
A request to hold a Havana Northside High School Mega-Reunion Parade on May 25th was approved by the council. The parade will be held every five years, said participants.
It was approved that Havana will lend its beautiful woodcarvings depicting old time Havana sights that grace town chambers to the Gadsden Arts Center in Quincy for its upcoming eight-to-ten months-long show of woodcarvings. The Havana carvings were donated to the town by Capital City Bank when the bank building was revamped a few years ago.
McKinnon advised the public that the project at the old car wash across from Havana Ford is an environmental clean-up, and that the cement-truck activity near the post office at the railroad tracks is a temporary operation to support that clean-up.
The town’s baseball season has opened and ten teams are participating, he said.