After spending the first three months in Cass City getting to know the community, and those who work and live in the Village, I am now focusing on the operations of the Village. New Accounting Procedures and Internal Controls have been implemented. Staff is addressing matters concerning employees and Human Resources. The negotiations with Teamsters are on-going and I expect to bring a ratified contract to the Council soon for consideration and approval. I am preparing revisions to the Organizational Chart for the Village which will reflect changes in supervisory reporting structures. Staff has been participating in cross training for increased efficiency. I have been trained on cash receipting, and I can now provide customer service for utility collections and front desk coverage. These operational changes will allow for increased efficiencies and oversight of financial and fiduciary responsibilities and duties for the Village.
Staff has been working on the fiscal year 2017 annual audit. The Village contracted with Carl Johnson, CPA to assist with preparing records and reports for our auditors Anderson, Tuckey, et al. The auditors began their field work on February 19, expecting to be at the Municipal Building five days. The Village was prepared and ready for our audit, and they had to spend only three days to complete their field work. I would like to thank both Nan Walsh and Robin Wallace for their hard work in assisting our auditors while they were on site.
I attended the February 14, 2018 Cass River Greenway (CRG) Meeting. CRG has been working with U of M, Flint, to prepare a website and signage for the Cass River Greenway Water Trail. Also, video footage from Mr. John Scollion
was shown to the group from the 2017 river clean-up. The video shows the Cass River as many have never seen it. At a future meeting, I would like to have a presentation on the Cass River Greenway Water Trail and play the video showcasing this beautiful water feature in our community.
Update on Seeger Street repairs. The Seeger Street “super project,” as it has been called, will be done in two phases. The replacement of underground infrastructure and milling and repaving of South Seeger Street will take place as Phase I, and is scheduled for 2020. The Village is seeking grant funds from the Tuscola County Road Commission through a STP grant which would pay for 80% or $160,000 toward the cost of milling and repaving. I know this project has been much anticipated for many years, but the funding, grants, and work to make it happen requires more time unfortunately. The Phase II, North Seeger Street, will have to be planned and budgeted for 2021.
There is some good news. The Village applied for an MDOT grant to construct access to the intersection of Doerr Road and Schell Street in the amount of $20,830, which was not used. I knew these funds were not appropriated and I inquired to see if they could be used for another project. I found out the Village had already requested that the funds be “repurposed” for crack sealing for Seeger Street. I explained we have two phases of the Seeger Street project planned, but would like to do the crack sealing project in the summer of 2018 to get us through until our reconstruction in 2020 and 2021. MDOT has been very obliging and have assigned a project job number for 2018, for the remaining funds of $18,718. Therefore, we will be able to make minor repairs to Seeger Street with crack sealing this summer.
I am happy to report that the portable sound system for the Village Council meeting room has arrived. Trustees are invited to come to our February 26th meeting 15 minutes early for a brief tutorial on the microphones and system. The sound system is very user-friendly and should provide the sound amplification we need at our meetings.
As I end my report, I note we have had a few warm days and enjoyed the sunshine recently. Our thoughts turn towards Spring. As such, Christmas lights will be coming down off the Village trees soon, and we will now focus on plans for our Parks and Recreation Program. More good news to come, stay tuned.