By Chad Koenen


The City of Deer Creek’s general fund continues to be in strong shape and most of its enterprise funds were able to churn a profit last year.

During its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday night, the Deer Creek City Council received its 2022 audit from Dean Birkeland of Carlson SV. 

Photo by Chad Koenen
The Deer Creek City Council approved a plan last week to adopt a Citizen Participation Plan as it looks to make repairs to the water tower. 

The city’s general fund decreased last year by $60,647 due to a large transfer out of funds of $91,076, however, the general fund ended the year with a positive balance. Expenses also exceeded revenue for the fire department by $7,834, while the water and sewer funds both made a profit last year. The water fund made just over $23,000 and the sewer fund made just under $10,400. For a number of years the sewer fund has shown a negative balance, but after last year the fund is just $2,410 in the red. 

In addition to the financial aspect of the audit, the city council heard several findings in the audit concerning problems with the segregation of duties, preparation of financial statements and related footnotes. Birkeland said these findings are common for city’s the size of Deer Creek as it is not financially viable to hire enough staff to properly segregate duties. 

In other news

• Heard the monthly police report from New York Mills Police Chief Bobby Berndt. A total of 41 hours of patrol time were logged in February, which included 15 calls for service for everything from business checks to parking complaints and medical calls. 

• Heard that a franchise fee for Otter Tail Power will be replaced by a donation of $500 to the city. The concern was that the cost to develop and obtain state approval would be too cumbersome and it would be easier for both sides for Otter Tail Power to donate $500 to the city each year. The donation could help to offset some of the city’s costs associated with Deer Trails Day.

• Heard from Henry and Bill DeCock of DeCock Sand and Gravel. It was noted that Henry was retiring and Bill would be taking over the business. 

• Discussed a Small Cities Development Program Application for the city’s water tower rehabilitation and well house rehabilitation projects. 

• Accepted the following donations: $1,800 from the Deer Creek Lions Club to help purchase a new kitchen hood at the community center, $3,000 from the Deer Creek Lions Club to assist with the funding for the fireworks display at the annual Deer Trails Day celebration, $1,200 from the Deer Creek Lions Club to assist with efforts to provide storage for picnic tables for Deer Trails Day and $600 from the Deer Creek Lions Club for mowing services for the pickle ball court. 

• Heard that a leaking hydrant has temporarily been fixed in town, but will probably need to be replaced this summer. A shut off vale will also likely need to be added to the fire hydrant. 

• Heard the fire department has responded to 18 calls so far this year and also held an ice water training. 

• Approved a poultry ordinance that states residents can keep up to 10 poultry in any zoning district with a permit. The initial permit must be approved by 60 percent of the property owners adjacent to the property and the cost of the initial permit will be $75. A bi-annual renewal will be $50. The poultry must be housed in a coop with a run or fenced exercise area in the rear or side yard.