Grosse Pointe City’s audit shows financial records in good order

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published February 8, 2023

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GROSSE POINTE CITY — Grosse Pointe City’s financial documentation has once again passed muster with flying colors.

Joe Kowalski, a partner with the City’s auditing firm of Plante Moran, announced that the auditors hadn’t discovered any internal control deficiencies in their review of financial records from the 2021-22 fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2022.

“We did issue a clean opinion (in the audit), which is the highest opinion we can issue,” Kowalski told the Grosse Pointe City Council during a meeting Dec. 19, adding that the municipality’s financial record keeping was “squeaky clean.”

Spencer Tawa, another Plante Moran auditor who worked on the City’s audit, said that property taxes — the community’s “No. 1 source of revenue” — produced a little over $4.7 million last year, an increase of roughly 2% from the prior year. Investment income fell by $72,747 last year, the audit notes.

“Really, the City has done a great job of keeping expenditures in check,” Tawa said. “The City was under budget in all of its departments.”

The city had a general fund balance of a little over $3.952 million as of June 30, which Tawa said is in keeping with the city’s policy. The unassigned portion of the fund balance stood at just over $1.651 million as of June 30, a slight increase over 2021’s unassigned fund balance of just over $1.607 million.

Even with a downturn in the market, the City’s pension plan was 102% funded as of June 30, 2022.

“The City is very well funded in the pension plan,” Tawa said.

It’s a different story with regard to retiree health care, which is classified under other post-employment benefits, or OPEB. The city’s OPEB was 7.4% funded as of June 30.

“The City has more so taken a pay-as-you-go approach to OPEB,” Tawa said.

All the same, the city has increased its OPEB funding over the last five years, from 4.8% in 2018 to 7.4% last year — down slightly from 7.7% in 2021.

Kowalski praised city personnel, especially City Finance Director/Treasurer Kimberly Kleinow.

“Kim is wonderful to work with,” Kowalski said. “She does a great job as well … and is very responsive.”