WATERVLIET — Commissioners on Tuesday received a positive report from the city’s outside auditor, then took up a variety of issues – ranging from an upgrade of the municipal website to acquiring road salt for the approaching winter.
CPA Aaron Stevens, of the Lansing accounting firm Maner Costerisan, told commissioners that the audit for the city’s fiscal year ended June 30 showed the city’s fiscal health to be solid; the outside review of Watervliet’s accounting had received an “unmodified opinion,” the strongest grade possible.
Among other actions, commissioners OK’d a proposal to pay $5,271 to CivicPlus, a Kansas-based company that specializes in providing website services to local governments. CivicPlus, which hosts the city’s current aging website, will provide a redesign. City Manager Tyler Dotson told the commission that a redesign of the present platform is a faster and less-costly option, compared with creating a new website.
Also, the commission formally approved the promotion of Department of Public Works employee Ryan Newberry to the newly created post of DPW foreman. Newberry, who formerly worked for the South Haven public works operation, initially joined Watervliet’s DPW 11 months ago. Until now, his title at the department has been “laborer.”
In addition, commissioners signed off on the $4,498 purchase of 55 tons of road salt. The order represents roughly 50 percent of the amount the city will likely need over the course of the winter, said Dotson.
As Tuesday’s meeting drew to a close, Dotson informed the commission he intends to have the city apply for an Environmental Protection Agency grant – in an amount likely to be “upwards of $150,000” – related to hazardous waste assessment.
The grant would help the city better ascertain contamination levels, as well as available remedies, at potential development locations, including the site of the former paper mill. The grant wouldn’t carry any costs for Watervliet, he noted.