Society audit main focus at meeting

Leslie Silverman

Discussion about an audit of the Keystone Area Historical Society (KAHS) was the main focus of the recent Keystone Town Board meeting.

According to KAHS board president Jon Veltman, “In reference to the audit I got three bids; they’re anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000. Gloria’s (Goth) put hard work into it, so the audit company doesn’t have to spend a lot of time looking through it.”

Trustee Kwinn Neff asked if the town agrees to do the audit “would we want to go down the path that this contract is between the town and the auditor or the museum and the auditor?”

Finance officer, Cassandra Ott said, “It does need to come out of the historical society budget. I just want to make sure that the town has the power to release the information. By us doing the contract that insures that.”

Ott proposed a contract between the auditing firm, the town and KAHS, similar to the one the town had when an audit was done on the Keystone Chamber of Commerce.

In a similar fashion, this audit would be an AUP, Agreed Upon Procedures.

“I think it’ll help. It’s more transparent for taxpayers,” Veltman said.

However, Sandi McLain, Keystone Town Board trustee, who sat on the KAHS board during the time period the audit would cover, disagrees with the town paying for the audit.

McLain, who was not present at the meeting said in an email, “I do believe an internal audit by the organization should be done due to discrepancies and missing receipts and other issues.”

However McLain does not believe the town should pay for it.

“The KAHS is a non-profit, private entity who receives money from the town but is registered privately…we need to be responsible consistent and be careful where we spend our money…paying for the chamber audit was not organized and documented well...because we did it before does not mean we have to do it again,” McLain’s email read.

No action was taken on this matter.

In her finance officer report, Ott shared sales tax and bed, board and booze (BBB) data from 2018 and 2019. The data can be seen on the Keystone website.

The board voted to allow town attorney Mitch Johnson to pursue a delinquent water bill in small claims court.

The board also voted to pay the $400 entry fee and resort stay for the Rural Water Association fishing tournament entry fee.

“Those relationships we build at those fun events are very helpful to the job because Jerry (Przybylski) knows this guy in this other town he’s had this issue and he calls them up and it turns out to our benefit,” Ott said.

The town is working with Federal Emergency Management Agency on disaster relief for the Roy Street bridges that were impacted by the 2019 spring flooding. 

There are concerns about eligibility for this money, which, if received, would potentially total $500,000.

“There are some eligibility concerns because we are a small town and there has needed to be maintenance on these bridges,” Ott said. “Because funds are limited and we knew we were replacing those bridges we didn’t do all the maintenance items on the list because we knew it would cost a lot of money only to tear them out. It sounds like we have a chance still.”

The museum is working on changing its nonprofit status.

“We’ve been working pretty diligently on the 501(c)3. It cost us $600 to do that,” Veltman said. “Linda Starbuck went through all the documentation. It gives us more opportunity to get grants. People make donations and it’s tax deductible. It gives us standard operating procedure. We’ll be doing things more strictly.”

The museum is looking at hiring a new director.

“It’s tough to find a quality person,” Veltman said. “When you’re seasonal and competing with the hotels.”

The museum is considering closing the gift shop on Mondays due to staffing concerns. The museum made about $5,000 last year.

Keystone Senior Center is still doing lunches on Friday and Bingo on Saturday evenings. The center is running strictly on volunteers.

The library is considering hosting a painting class sometime before the spring.

The board also discussed the so-called “bridge to nowhere,” which sits on South Dakota Hwy. 40. Board members discussed ways to remove the debris and junk that sits under the bridge and potentially moving the bridge itself to a more useful location. The bridge currently sits on private property.

The board passed a Department of Transportation maintenance agreement amendment. 

“From what I’m getting out of this amendment we’re going to be required to let owners know when we do work on (Highway) 16A, which we already do but this is a more formalized version of that, “ said Ott.

Discussion about the paid parking at the state lot took place. Discussion included issues like having a second collection fee bear, who will be responsible for emptying the bear and the man hours involved with stamping envelopes and counting money.

The town is already stamping envelopes for the 2020 tourist season. No action was taken on this matter.

The next Keystone Town Board meeting takes place Feb. 5 at 5 p.m.

User login