The City of Redwood Falls went through its annual auditing process for 2018 recently, and at the end of the audit, it received a clean opinion from CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA). The audit report was presented to the city council by Mary Reedy of CLA during its June 18 meeting. The council approved the audit as presented.

While the audit was reported as “clean,” there was one concern raised during the process Reedy pointed out during her report. Under the legal compliance area, a discovery was made regarding the purchase of a dump truck at a cost of $175,000.

According to the audit, the purchase of that dump truck did not follow state statute as it relates to contract and bidding requirements.

According to Keith Muetzel, city administrator, the purchase of the piece of equipment followed an exhaustive search. He said the city was looking for a used truck but couldn’t find one. 

During that process those working through that purchase process interacted with a company that had a truck manufacturing business. Muetzel said the assumption was that the company the city was working with was part of what is known as the state bidding process, but it was later revealed that it was not.

Under the state bid program, which is something local units of government can utilize, the state seeks bids from companies for a variety of things. Approved companies then are listed under the state bid for purchase by local units of government without having to go through the bidding process on their own.

Muetzel said the confirmation that the truck was purchased under the state bid had not been verified. Since it was discovered Muetzel said staff who are involved in purchasing items have been retrained, and checks have been put in place to make sure it does not happen again.

Muetzel said in terms of some equipment, finding a source is challenging, adding the city is currently looking to replace a plow truck, and in terms of companies that can provide that equipment he has found two in Minnesota.

“There is a limited supply available,” said Muetzel.

The audit shows the city had an unassigned fund balance at the end of 2018 of $2,582,421, which is an increase from the 2017 final fund balance of $1,780,141.

Missi Meyer, city director of finance and administrative services, said the drop in the fund balance in 2017 was due to the fact that the city committed $600,000 for the Redwood Area Community Center project that included upgrades to the existing amenities and the creation of a new senior center.

In other action during its meeting, the city council:

• Approved a request to cover up to $37,730 of the cost to replace and repair the west side of the wooden bridge over Ramsey Creek in the park. The July 2018 flooding event caused damage to the road by the bridge. Other work on the trail system is also being done as part of a larger repair project, with some funding coming from FEMA.

According to Jim Doering, city public works project coordinator, FEMA will only cover the cost for repairs that get the damaged area back to its preexisting condition. The intent, said Doering, is to enhance the area as part of the work, so that the damage can be mitigated in the future.

• Approved a grant agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). The agreement would have MnDOT cover 70 percent of the cost of seal coating the airport entrance road. That project was awarded to Asphalt Surface Tech Corporation of St. Cloud at a council meeting in May.