Three Rivers receives high marks in annual audit

Three Rivers Finance Director Bobbi Schoon reported good news to commissioners Tuesday on the results of the city’s annual audit.

“The main highlight is that we got an ‘unmodified opinion’ which is like the gold star, it’s what we’re looking for [and it] means we got a clean audit,” Schoon said. 

“We did have an increase in our general fund, that was due to [selling] some property, [and] we had an increase in revenue from the marijuana retail licenses and taxes. And then there was an increase in taxes due to the taxable value increase. And we did pay down some debt too, so that’s a good thing. Our long- and short-term debt are both down a little bit lower. So, our total debt right now, as a percentage of income, at the end of that fiscal year was down to 2.08%, and in 2014, we were at 8.55%. So, we’ve really done a good job at paying down some debt.”

In commissioner comments, Pat Dane asked for clarification on where taxes from marijuana establishments go and who decides what it’s spent on. City Manager Joe Bippus said, “It’s going into our general fund. [The commission] will ultimately decide where it goes, what it gets spent on. It’ll be included in our budget.”

In other business…

  • The commission approved two roadway changes under Act 51, which included the certification of Oklahoma Drive and decertification of a section of Liberty Street. Act 51 governs the distribution of revenue from fuel and car registrations and “establishes jurisdictional road networks,” among other things, according to
  • The commission approved a change order in the amount of $15,000 to cover additional expenses for repairs to fire apparatus equipment at the Three Rivers Fire Department. 
  • The commission heard an update from City Attorney T.J. Reed on the veteran housing project on South Main Street. Reed reported that the purchase agreement is in process, and said “you may see some activity” at the house, as Twin County Probation Center and St. Joseph County will be working together soon to start making some repairs inside the house, and getting it up to code.
  • Lowry said “more than several” residents have told him “it was a bad decision” to take away the livestream of the commission meetings. Lowry also wondered if there are more ways for the city to invest energy in getting information out to the public via their website like “more of an information board” or other means.