Thursday, July 1, 2021

Canton Township receives ‘strong’ financial audit

Canton Township received a good financial report from auditors Plante Moran for 2020. 

The strong financial report from auditors was presented to the members of the board of trustees at the June 22 meeting.  

Alisha Watkins from Plante Moran, joined by colleague Keith Szymanski, noted township recreation funds were down in the 2020 fiscal year, the second year for which Plante Moran worked virtually on the audit. Much of the budget is earmarked for projects and for legacy costs, pensions and retiree health care costs, she said.

“They're not all going to come due in one year,” said Watkins. She noted that audits without significant findings during the past several years are a positive sign for the township.

The auditors also noted pre-recession property values remain in place for many in Canton, compared to communities that are more “built out.” 

Trustee Tania Ganguly asked what will occur in a few years when that becomes the situation in Canton.

During the presentation, Township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak and the board trustees also discussed how to best spend federal coronavirus relief dollars the township received. 

“The big things are water, sewer and broadband,” said Graham-Hudak.  Alisha Watkins from Plante Moran explained other cities and townships have opted to use the relief funds for a wide range of priorities.

Graham-Hudak mentioned helping local businesses with the federal relief funds. Township Clerk Michael Siegrist said he prefers to assist local nonprofits, such as First Step and Growth Works, which also “took a hit during the pandemic.”

Copies of the Comprehensive Financial Report are available for public review at the Canton Public Library and the clerk's office in the township administration building.

In other business, trustees declared June as Pride Month for the LGBT community. That includes a municipal code designed for a safe, inclusive community as well as a “Canton Pride OUTside” event set for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, July 9, at Heritage Park.