Lincoln Co. fund balances up $1.3M

Auditor presents ‘clean opinion’ to commissioners

IVANHOE — Proclaiming that Lincoln County’s financial numbers “are trending in the right direction,” an auditor reported Tuesday that fund balances are up $1.3 million from the previous year.

Auditor Doug Host of Clifton Larson Allen LLP gave a “Clean Opinion” on the county’s financial statements in his audit report during the Lincoln County Board meeting.

“A Clean Opinion isn’t absolute assurance, but it is a reasonable assurance,” Host said.

He also reported that the county’s debt payments were down overall by $260,000. Lincoln County took in $360,000 revenue over budget and expended $107,000 over budget.

Even the Lake Benton Lake Association saw a net position of $41,000, which was in the negative the previous year, he said.

In other business, Lincoln County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved advertising for a part-time deputy emergency management director.

Emergency Management Director Amber Scholten made the request for a new deputy so the new person would be able to help with trainings and work on other projects with her, which current deputy director Chad Midtaune isn’t always able to do.

Scholten told commissioners she had met with and is working with the sheriff’s office employees to develop a duties and responsibility list for the prospective new employee. They were also working on the qualifications for the position. She said that, with the board’s approval, they would send that information to the union for approval before posting the position.

“(The meeting) actually went better than I’d thought,” Commissioner Mic VanDeVere said. “It’s better to have two people who know what’s going on than just one.”

Scholten also reported on the EMPG-Pilot project for the state on the Damage Assessment Team. It involves the possibility of a $10,000 grant to purchase tablets to be used for damage assessment throughout the region and the state.

The way the grant works would be for the county to purchase the tablets and the grant would reimburse the county.

The tablets would be purchased through The Computer Man, whom Scholten said she had been referred.

The board voted unanimously to participate.

In Scholten’s court administration project report, Bladholm Construction, Inc. would secure the clerk of courts office and put up walls in the hallway to be able to use the extra room for attorney/client meetings at a cost of $11,555.

The county could have applied for a grant to pay for most of it but had declined the walkthrough from the safety organization that offered it earlier this year.

Three tempered safety glass panels have replaced previous style glass in the plan, and the construction company would use the existing doors so that they will all match, she said.

“It will provide the safety that everyone in that department is wanting,” she said.

The commissioners agreed and approved the project unanimously.