Hancock City Council heard from Christina Smigowski of Rukkila, Negro, and Associates at Wednesday’s meeting about the audit results for the 2021 fiscal year, which ended last summer. The firm gave an unmodified opinion, the best possible outcome.
Most city funds saw a net improvement in their cash positions. Smigowski said some expenses came in over budget, something that Hancock has experienced before.
City Manager Mary Babcock said the differences were caused by a change in recognition of when bills were paid. Hancock switched between payment via ACH, an electronic clearinghouse, and payment by physical check. Federal Emergency Management Agency projects may also have contributed.
If the discrepancy between what was expected and the actual cash outlays is great enough, the State of Michigan could ask Hancock to provide an action plan to try and mitigate future occurrences.
A host of other items came before the council. All recreation committee topics will be covered in a separate story. During Babcock’s administrative report she shared that the banners honoring local veterans will be moving for the upcoming summer season. They had previously been displayed along Campus Drive. When they are put up again in May, they will hang on Hancock Street.
The council approved two contracts with Up and Running, a Houghton IT company. Roughly $6,933 will be spent to purchase new cameras for City Hall and the police department. The hope is to eventually add Porvoo Park, among other sites, and have everything connected to one network that can be browsed off of a laptop, tablet, or phone by law enforcement officials. It also okayed spending $9,842 for a new server for municipal use.
The city is entering the late stages of its zoning ordinance update. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for February 7th and Babcock says depending on input received, she intends to bring the new regulations before council on February 16th, a regularly scheduled session.
Hancock will be selling old garbage dumpsters to Torch Lake and Schoolcraft Townships. They have sat unused on the Public Works parking lot since the city began its current contract with Waste Management. The townships will be paying Hancock $200 per metal bin and $150 for each plastic one. They have already made arrangements to transport them.
Hancock agreed to put up a streetlight at 1232 Sunset Drive near the waterfront at the request of a resident. The utility will be responsible for erecting the pole and will retain ownership of the apparatus. Hancock has agreed to pay $25.85 per month for expected electricity usage.