The May 2013 borough council meeting was held at the borough hall’s council chambers last night. All the councillors but Jody Gable, who was ill, were present, as was the mayor, solicitor, borough financial officer, the outgoing borough manager and the new borough manager. Council president, Michael Beury convened the meeting of nearly a dozen citizens – including five students from Lancaster Catholic High School’s government class – at 7:00 pm. The meeting was adjourned at 9:09 p.m.
Agenda – page 0ne
Agenda – page two
Meeting notes: Below are a few notes on some of last night’s topics of discussion. Again, the best way to know what transpired at any meeting is to attend in person. Otherwise, the information you get about what happened will be second-hand: it will be a written report from a media source or it may be a verbal report from someone who was there. Either of these reports may be filtered and re-cast by someone else.
These are just a few of the topics discussed. Columbia news, views & reviews audio records all open meetings in accordance with state laws. We will review our notes from the meeting and provide other meeting notes tomorrow.
Audit Report for Fiscal Year 2012
Mike Reiner of Sager Swisher, LLC. provided copies of the borough’s 2012 Audit Report; he then presented a verbal overview of the report. Reiner also introduced his associate, Alissa R. Harrison, who performed the audit.
Pennsylvania law, under the provisions of the Borough Code requires that “either the borough controller, elected auditors or appointed auditors file an Annual Audit and Financial Report.” The report is an assessment of the fiscal activities of the municipality.
The responsibility of an independent appointed auditor is to “express opinions on the municipality’s financial statements based on the audit.” Audits reflect standards generally accepted in the United States of America and the standards applicable to financial audits contained in Government Auditing Standards. Those standards require that the auditing entity “plan and perform the audit to obtain
reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement.”
According to Pennsylvania statute (53 P.S. Â§ 46043): “Within ten (10) days of completing their audit, borough auditors must publish a financial statement in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation in the borough. The following must be included in the financial statement: balance in the treasury at the beginning of the fiscal year;
all revenues received during the fiscal year by major classifications;
all expenditures made during the fiscal year by major functions;
current resources and liabilities of the borough at the end of the fiscal year;
gross liability and net debt of the borough;
amount of the assessed valuation of the borough;
assets of the borough including the character and value;
date of the last maturity of the respective forms of funded debt; and
assets in each sinking fund.”
Mayor proclaims EMS WEEK
Leo S. Lutz, mayor, read a proclamation declaring EMS Week (Emergency Medical Services) in Columbia and presented a copy to Frank A. Splain, Jr.; Splain is the executive director of the Columbia QRS (Quick Response Service). Representatives of the Susquehanna Valley EMS were not in attendance.
Reiner introduced his associate, Alissa R. Harrison, who performed the audit.
What is an “arborist?
One of the councillors suggested that the borough could use its own resources rather than incur the outrageous charges of outside experts and consultants when undertaking projects such as the Northwest Trail, River Park, etc. He suggested there were local experts, such as arborists and borough employees, who could perform many jobs at significant savings.