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January 27, 2023

11/18/2022 10:25:00 AM
Taylors Falls City Council in market for new law firm

As the year comes to a close, the Taylors falls City Council learned last week its long-running relationship with its law firm is ending as of January 2023.  Kelly & Lemmons legal counsel notified the city it is stepping back from its contract.

The council agreed to start developing an RFP (Request for Proposals) to be ready to solicit offers from interested firms as soon as practical and fill in the gap quickly.
City Clerk Mary Tomnitz informed council the accounting consultants Abdo and Associates, also would like to make sure it’s okay to provide fiscal reconciliation efforts to the end of December. The firm was hired to help close/verify accounts in the wake of the abrupt departure of the previous clerk.  

City concerns about ARPA disbursements were partially addressed, with the announcement from clerk transition liaison Councilmember Ross Rivard that the money due the city has been deposited (actually in June) but Taylors Falls did not receive notice as usual.  

The federal funds arrive at the state Revenue Department level and the state distributes the special recovery act funds.  In the case of Taylors Falls the disbursements notice went to a non-city e mail address.

Tomnitz said she had no password to check on the payments nor any access to the funds, until it became known the deposits existed in records reconciliation.
Council member Rivard, who’s been involved in accounting and bookkeeping matters since the clerk’s departure, said, “To me it’s a big issue (e mail address being replaced).”  He said he called Bitworks, local computer professinals, to assist and he would like to see this untangled and “looked into.”  Officials know who the e mails were redirected to but did not say.

Council will need to officially acknowledge receipt of the federal funds in the form of a resolution action at the next city council meeting.

In public forum Carol Schumann reminded everybody of the Lighting Festival Nov 25, 26 and 27.  Kevin Schumann updated council on the latest landscaping efforts at Cherry Hill Park,  and reported Branch Nursery in North Branch had donated considerable flowering plant material to this part of the project.  Pastor Schumann donated and transplanted a number of peonies from his personal collection, as well.

Charitable gambling is back at The GOAT. The new owners had to do a transfer of activities for the Shafer -Franconia Firefighter Relief Association.

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