Stanley Council hears 2023 audit report from Baker Tilly

Arbor Day Celebration scheduled for April 26th


Sheanne Hedinger, a partner of Baker Tilly, an accounting firm in Eau Claire, WI, shared the 2023 City of Stanley audit report and 2023 PSC report at the April 1 council meeting on Monday evening. She explained that the audit team had completed field work in Stanley in February.
“The general fund fund balance is really the key metric within your financials. It gives a good picture of the health of the city. Having a good fund balance allows for cash flows to happen, gives you a cushion for any unexpected expenditures that may come up and provides flexibility with your budgeting as unexpected things occur throughout the year,” she said.
Adding that “this is a point in time snapshot” and “these numbers do fluctuate throughout the year,” she stated that the general fund had a total fund balance of $727,000. “So total fund balance did go down about $68,000 from ‘22 to ‘23.”
Looking at the debt metrics, Hedinger shared, “Your debt continues to decrease so that’s a really great trend to see that you do have debt capacity for borrowing if needed.” She described that the two types of debt are general obligation debt of both the city and utilities and revenue debt that is secured with water and sewer revenues versus the tax levy.
Hedinger explained that the Wisconsin Policy Forum gives perspective of how the City of Stanley compares to other municipalities throughout the state, but with a two-year lag, it is based off of information from December 2021 and the City of Stanley is ranked as 393 out of 604 municipalities for debt per capita. Stating that 1 is the highest, she described, “So you’re on the higher end of those numbers meaning you have lower debt per capita.”
Within Chippewa County, Stanley ranks as the fifth lowest in debt per capita and third highest for the percentage of the state debt limit used. In conclusion, she stated, “In summary of the numbers for the year the utility rates are currently providing sufficient cash flow. This is always a backwards look, so you want to consider that with any future looking projects.”
Hedinger told the council to keep an eye on the general fund fund balance, to continue conservative spending and as the TIF continues to get healthier it will help the general fund, but it will take a few years to get out of the deficit.
“We really appreciate the cooperation from the City,” Hedinger remarked that City Administrator Nicole Pilgrim and Alderperson Mike Henke were readily available and helpful during the audit. Henke motioned to recommend the 2023 audit report and the 2023 PSC report with Baker Tilly, and it was unanimously approved by the council.
The city council approved Nimbus Drug and Alcohol Screening as the new facilitator for City Drug and Alcohol testing. Pilgrim explained to the council that it will be better to have someone who can come onsite as needed since random drug and alcohol testing is needed for CDLs and the Police Department needs someone who can perform legal blood draws. She added that this will make it easier to do testing randomly.
The Council voted to advertise for seasonal streets and grounds workers for the 2024 season. Duties may include lawn care and general labor at a wage of $14.00 per hour. Interested parties may pick up an application at city hall, on the city’s website or by emailing the city clerk at
The Council voted to hire CBS Squared to submit the PSC Construction Application for Ozone Replacement at the City’s Northwest Water Plant at a cost of $2,630.00.
Henke said that the DNR gave their approval for ozone replacement but then the Public Service Commission (PSC) told the city that they needed to complete their applications before the city proceeds. Henke mentioned that if the City of Stanley submitted the application in house it would be a lengthy process.
“We’re partway in the project already, we didn’t know we needed to do this,” said Henke. “This way the project will keep going, otherwise it’s going to drag it out if we have to do it.”
Alderperson Mark Fitzsimmons gave an update on the bids for repairs for the city shop building on Pine Street. He explained a few issues that came into place, in particular discovering that the roofing material isn’t a rubber roof but a spray foam roof.
“All right now we’re looking for is just the wall itself be removed and replaced as is.”
The Council proceeded to approve the bid for wall removal and repair from Slowiak Masonry for $96,250.00 “That’s just for the wall portion of it. We’ll have to revisit with the roofing portion,” said Fitzsimmons. He explained that they are waiting for roofing consultations and more information on how to proceed with the roof. “We need answers at this point.”
Parks Committee member and Alderperson Laurie Foster told the Council that the 2024 National Arbor Day Celebration is scheduled to held on the last Friday of the month, April 26. Mayor Al Haas told Foster to contact Public Works operator in charge John Hoel to decide which type of trees to plant and in which park.

Fire Department News
Jordan Kuhnke, a fleet warehouse manager at Sunfire Telecom and current member of the Army National Guard, has become a new firefighter on the Stanley Volunteer Fire Department.