Saline’s Treasurer Breaks Down Annual Audit and Budget at Mayors Conference


By Carleen Nelson-Nesvig

The Saline Area Senior Center was abuzz with anticipation on August 18th as local officials gathered for the annual Mayors Conference. A standout presentation was made by Saline’s City Treasurer, Ellie Cole, who spoke in-depth about the city's financial health, recent audits, and future projects.

Cole began her discussion with a focus on the annual audit. The city mandates an annual audit, conducted by external auditors. They thoroughly review the city’s books and financial transactions for the year, ensuring everything is in order. Fortunately, last year's report was exemplary. “We hope to continue that transmission,” she told attendees.

Addressing project delays that occurred over the past year, Cole expressed optimism. Though there were a few hitches, the good news is that the city has set aside extra funds for construction projects scheduled over the next year.

Emphasizing the city's fiscal responsibility, she added, "Unlike the state, we are required to have a balanced budget. We went through the process this year and have a balanced budget.”

For those interested in more detailed information, Cole pointed out that the budget is available on the city's website, alongside other capital planning documents that outline ongoing projects, their status, and associated costs.

Diving into property evaluation matters, Cole introduced the new city assessor, Jacob Sutton, describing him as " warm and friendly and open to us having any questions about property taxes.“

Cole also touched on utility billing, particularly water rates, an area under her supervision. She explained that, last year, due to unforeseen challenges, the had to implement a significant rate hike. The city is currently reviewing the rates and anticipate a possible modest increase by January 1st. She further informed residents that some might be eligible for financial assistance through the state's Universal Basic Income (UBI) program.

For those unfamiliar, the UBI initiative is a government-backed effort designed to combat economic inequality by offering direct monthly cash transfers to citizens, bolstering economic security.

Residents who wish to delve deeper into the city's financial records and plans are encouraged to visit City Hall or the official city website.

Photo: Saline City Hall. Facebook.

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