Refuse Authority signs new contract with current auditor

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 10, 2018

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — The Grosse Pointes-Clinton Refuse Disposal will be retaining the services of its current auditor for at least the next few years.

During a Dec. 12 GPCRDA Board meeting in Grosse Pointe Shores, the board voted unanimously in favor of a new three-year contract with Rochester Hills-based CPA Ramie E. Phillips Jr. The contract covers the fiscal years of 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20. Phillips’ annual price for the audit is only increasing by $100 during this contract, meaning that the GPCRDA will be paying $4,600 instead of $4,500 for the next three years.

“That seems reasonable,” GPCRDA board member Terry Brennan said. “It’s a nominal increase.”

Phillips, who has also done audits for nonprofits and municipalities including GPCRDA member community Grosse Pointe Park, was first hired in 2014 to perform a GPCRDA audit for the 2013-14 fiscal year, succeeding auditors at Plante & Moran, who had done the audit for years.

GPCRDA officials insisted that the switch to a new auditor wasn’t a sign of dissatisfaction with Plante & Moran, whose auditors they praised, but instead an effort to trim costs. Phillips came recommended to the GPCRDA and cut the auditing cost nearly in half from what the GPCRDA had been paying. In 2014, GPCRDA board Treasurer Dale Krajniak — the city manager of Grosse Pointe Park — said that the GPCRDA had been paying around $7,500-$7,800 annually for its audits; Phillips’ bid for the same service was $4,500.

“He was a lot cheaper than the other (auditing firms) when we bid (the audit) out a couple of years ago,” said CPA Lynn Gustafson, who handles the financial records for the GPCRDA.

Gustafson, who works closely with Phillips during the auditing process, spoke highly of him to the board.

“He’s been wonderful,” she said. “I’ve had no problems with him at all. He’s really great to work with.”

The GPCRDA board is equally happy with the service Phillips has been providing for the last several years.

“I think he’s doing a great job,” GPCRDA board Chair Brett Smith said.