Ferron City Operating without a Mayor
Ferron City Council hed its first regular meeting since the resignation of Mayor Kent Larsen. As Mayor Pro Tem, Jo Sanservero presided over the meeting.
Councilman Gordon Bennett addressed the council and those residents present. "Ferron is a good town. We have good citizens and a good council. I'm asking you to stop the negative comments about the actions of the mayor and council. If you have questions concerning the firehouse or the golf course, come to the council meetings and give us your input. Many, many decisions and public hearings are held and we have no citizen input because no one shows up. We need your input. There is no way for us to know what the citizens want if they do not tell us. Citizens need to be involved in this community, during hard times, like now, and good times.
"I'm asking, no, pleading, with you to stop the negativeness. My father told me that negative begets negative and positive begets positive. I've tried to remember that all my life, I'm still learning and trying. I'm asking you all to stand tall and stand proud because Ferron is an outstanding community with outstanding citizens. Don't listen to rumors. If you have a question, please confront the person and ask for the truth and their side of the story. Get the whole story, and remember there are two sides to every story and look for the positive." said Bennett.
Auditors for Ferron City, Kay Kimball and Rick Roberts gave a presentation of the audit results to the council. Kimball told the council of the new GASB34 report format. Audits are done to ascertain the financial viability of cities and examine their accounting practices and principles. Ferron's audit adequately represents the city's financial standing.
"I would advise the council to review this audit and become familiar with the new format. By becoming familiar with the format, the budget process will go more smoothly," said Kimball.
Another facet of the auditors job is to ensure compliance with grants, both federal and state. Also, to make the council aware of the rules and procedures and identify any wrongdoing. Ferron did very well on the audit.
Roberts explained the management letter and how it pertains to internal controls of the council to protect the city. The auditors are bound by state law to report any infraction of state law automatically during the audit process. The management letter helps the council maintain control of the city's assets.
The audit findings were that Ferron had two areas of concern where the expenditure exceeded the revenue. To remedy this problem, the council was encouraged to open the budget and increase funding in the areas where it is needed before the need arises.
Roberts went on to explain that state law requires all funds be deposited within three days of receipt. This is not always happening in one area of the city's control. By complying with this law, the city is safeguarded.
One added suggestion that Roberts made was for the city to examine its policy on spouses traveling with the councilmember to functions of a business nature. The policy should include solid guidelines which explain who is responsible for the expenses of the spouse.
Sansevero read a letter the city had received from the Utah Local Governments Trust. The letter stated that a member of their committee had been in Ferron and was very impressed with the condition of the city's cemetery. Jean Morlan, who works at the cemetery was highly commended for the "absolutely beautiful" cemetery in Ferron.
The council heard from Brandon Singleton concerning his Eagle Scout project that is at the cemetery. Singleton gave the cost estimate and the completion projection, and the council approved. The council also approved giving the Horse 4-H group from Ferron a donation to help with a competition that will be held in two weeks. Also approved by the council was the appointment of Suzanne Larsen as the Ferron Youth City Council advisor.
Mayor Pro-Tem Sansevero opened two bids concerning the Peach Days concessions. Both bids were accepted as they were for different concession stands.
Councilman Joe Trenery reviewed Peach Days assignments. Utah Local Governments Trust Vehicle Schedule was reviewed. The council approved the elimination of several vehicles from the insurance.
Councilman Bennett informed the council of a conversation he had with the sheriff's office and Commissioner Drew Sitterud. Bennett has proposed offering office space in the new fire station to the sheriff's office for use as a satellite station. In return, the sheriff's office would donate a generator they now own to Ferron Fire Department. A discussion of the proposal will come before the council at a future date.
Councilman Bennett also informed the council of his actions in requesting Royce Stilson to provide an estimate of what the cost would be to get the old fire station up to code for use or sale. The council tabled any action on the old fire station until this information is available.
Councilperson Melinda MECCAriello presented an agreement with the company for the city's website. This agreement would be in affect for three years. The council agreed to meet with the company's representative at the Utah League of Cities and Towns conference before signing the agreement.
The council then ratified the approval of a warranty deed for right of way from Robert Killpack to access the city water tank property. This was done in an emergency situation by three council members when the cell tower was in jeopardy.
A new personnel policy was discussed. The council approved making changes in the present policy concerning responsibility for spouse travel and meals when the spouse accompanies a councilmember on a business trip for city business.
Councilman Randy Fox stated that Price Metal Salvage will be setting up a crusher for old cars to clean up the city. Price Metal Salvage will pay for cars with a title. If the donor wishes, the money will be put into the playground equipment fund.
Mayor Pro-Tem Sansevero announced that work on the sewer lagoons will begin Sept. 27. Nielson's Construction got the bid and the expected completion date is April 13, 2005.
The next Ferron City Council meeting will be Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.