Sewer fund, Willow Creek lose money, water, sewer, electric, natural gas show a profit

By Chad Koenen


The Henning City Council received its annual audit report last Monday night. 

According to the audit, the water, electric, natural gas and other proprietary funds showed a profit in 2021, while the sewer fund and Willow Creek both lost money in 2020.

Willow Creek showed a net income before transfers of a $30,680 loss and the sewer fund showed a loss of $30,194. Those two losses also didn’t include principal paid on capital debt payments of approximately $90,000 apiece. 

The city also heard of several findings that were discovered by the auditors. While most of the findings were common involving cities the size of Henning, for example there was a finding of not having enough segregation of duties that is common with smaller communities, the council also learned that the auditors noted the main bank account reconciliation for cash and cash equivalents did not agree with the book cash and cash equivalents by approximately $31,000.

City clerk/treasurer Kim Schroeder said the bank statements match up and thought the discrepancy had something to do with a journal entry that was made. 

“I just have to find out what entry was made on the books that’s not matching the bank statements. Everything is checking out on the bank statements so it just has to be an entry on the books,” said Schroeder.

Schroeder said she hasn’t been able to review the figures yet to locate the journal entry as she will need to go through every cash transaction in order to find the discrepancy. 

When pressed by the council if the discrepancy was positive or negative for the City of Henning, Schroeder said she wasn’t positive either way and needed to go through every cash transaction to find the discrepancy. 

The city clerk/treasurer said she will work on the audit finding and report back to the council when the missing item is located. 

In other news

• Approved 4-1, with Tammy Fosse voting in dissent, allowing the Henning Ambulance Service to seek a grant to pay for the start up costs for becoming a part-time ALS (Advanced Life Support) service. Henning Ambulance Director Jane Cook said if the service became a part-time ALS department it could potentially provide additional care to people in need quicker. 

• Approved 3-2, with Wes Johnson and Wiese voting in dissent, to issue a debit card for the Willow Creek dietary manager to purchase grocery items. Willow Creek Executive Director Lisa Augustus said the debit card will be used to purchase items for the dietary department as needed. Last month the same request was denied by the council. Wiese said he has an issue with employees continuing to ask month after month for the same items until it is eventually approved. He encouraged Willow Creek to continue to utilize the local grocery store instead of taking business out of town.

• Approved 3-2, with Johnson and Wiese voting in dissent, to not support a petition from Mary Nilson to detach her property from the city limits. Nilson’s property is located near the airport and does not receive city services like water or sewer. Johnson originally made a motion to support the resolution, but it failed due to a lack of a second. Nilson can now petition the Office of Administration to detach from the city limits. 

• Approved closing a portion of Jensen St. on July 24 due to the state baseball tournament and a wedding dance being held at the festival grounds. 

• Approved adding councilman Scott Hart and clerk Kim Schroeder as representatives for the Ottertail water contract negotiation committee. Wiese was already appointed as a representative to the group, but at the request of the Ottertail group. 

• Heard the city could receive approximately $100,000 for additional COVID-19 funding. The city approved accepting the additional funding as part of the COVID-19 pandemic relief funding.