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City news: Sukke won't seek reelection to DL city council; city shines in 2021 audit

During their June 14 meeting, Madalyn Sukke, alderman-at-large, announced she will not be seeking reelection to the Detroit Lakes City Council. She joins colleague Jamie Marks Erickson, second ward, in announcing their plans to step away at the end of the year. Registration for municipal elections will be open on Aug. 2 and close on Aug. 16 at 5 p.m.

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Heidi Tumberg, finance officer for Detroit Lakes, presents findings of the official 2021 audit during a regular meeting of the Detroit Lakes City Council on June 14, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — As part of closing remarks during the Detroit Lakes City Council meeting on June 14, Madalyn Sukke, alderman-at-large, announced she will not seek reelection to the council this November.

Sukke is joining fellow alderman, Jamie Marks Erickson, Second Ward, in announcing they will be stepping away from their seats at the end of the year, leaving two open seats on the council going into the municipal candidate filing period beginning on Aug. 2 and closing on Aug. 16 at 5 p.m.

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Madalyn Sukke, Detroit Lakes alderman-at-large

During her remarks, Sukke said: "This job has just been terrific for me, but, I think after 14 years, it's time to hang it up and get some new blood on the council. So, I will not be running for that open seat at-large."

She added that anyone who resides within the city limits can run for an at-large council seat. The other open seat, vacated by Marks Erickson, is available to residents in the city's second ward, which is south of Highway 10 and east of Washington Avenue, and ends at Long Bridge

"Please consider it and think about it," said Sukke. "It's a great opportunity and these are great people."

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Detroit Lakes passes official 2021 audit with flying colors

The city of Detroit Lake also passed their 2021 official audit with the investigators finding "no instances of non-compliance" in the audit's three major areas.

The official report was prepared by Brady, Martz and Associates, and delivered to the council by Tracee Bruggeman.

"In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the changes in financial position are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles," said Bruggeman during the meeting. "Our report on Minnesota legal compliance, and we noted no instances of non-compliance."

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Tracee Bruggeman, of Brady, Martz and Associates, delivers her team's findings of the 2021 Detroit Lakes offcial audit during a regular meeting of the Detroit Lakes City Council on June 14, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Heidi Tumberg, finance officer for Detroit Lakes, summarized the 140-page report into a 10-page handout, which she supplied to those in attendance at the meeting.

"The city has four enterprise funds which operate like a business, they are self-sustaining," said Tumberg, during the meeting. "The first one is our electric fund, so operating revenues in our electric fund increased from the prior year by about $850,000 and that increase was due to the polar vortex that happened at the very beginning of 2021 and then the very hot, dry summer that happened last summer, so we sold a lot more electricity because of the very cold conditions, very early in the year, and the very hot conditions that summer."

According to the report summary, the 2021 end-of-year fund balances for Detroit Lakes are:

  • General Fund: $6,511,891 with $2,172,942 assigned and $4,169,199 unassigned. The unassigned amount represents nearly seven months of general fund operating expenditures.
  • Electric Fund: $20,156,200, a net position decrease of $1,746,557 from 2020. The decrease was planned due to projects like the AMI electric meter replacement and south substation project.
  • Water Fund: $1,352,001, a net position increase of $892,295 from 2020 due to increased revenues and decreased expenses related to the AMI electric meter replacement project.
  • Wastewater Fund: $9,996,298, a net position increase of $2,786,251 from 2020 due to rate increases and an increase in water use, which determines wastewater charges.
  • Liquor Store Fund: $3,952,256, cash and investment balance. The store fund's net position increased $440,355 from the year before.

"Operating revenues of the water fund also increased from the prior year by just under $359,000," she said. "This increase was due to the hot and dry summer. We just ended up selling more water than a typical year because people were doing a lot more outdoor watering, mainly."

Nate Marx joins the Detroit Lakes Fire Department

Nate Marx was sworn into service by Mayor Matt Brenk as an official member of the Detroit Lakes Fire Department.

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Nate Marx, right, is sworn into service by Mayor Matt Brenk as an official member of the Detroit Lakes Fire Department during a regular meeting of the Detroit Lakes City Council on June 14, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

"Nathan Marx has completed his probationary period and the department has unanimously selected him to become a full-time member," said Detroit Lakes Fire Chief Ryan Swanson before the ceremony.

Brenk then had Marx approach the podium and performed the oath of service.

"Finally, I promise to follow the policies of the fire department, uphold the laws of our state and nation, and the ordinances of the city of Detroit Lakes, and I will faithfully discharge my duties to the best of my abilities, so help me god," Brenk read, and Marx repeated.

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Nate Marx, right, smiles next to Detroit Lakes Mayor Matt Brenk after Marx was officially sworn into service of the Detroit Lakes Fire Department during a regular meeting of the city council on June 14, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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Nate Marx, right, shakes the hand of Mayor Matt Brenk after being sworn into service as an official member of the Detroit Lakes Fire Department during a regular meeting of the city council on June 14, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Currently, the Detroit Lakes has 23 firefighters on their active roster, seven short of their goal of a 30-man team. Any resident wanting more information about the benefits of the joining the all-volunteer squad, or interested in joining the Detroit Lakes Fire Department, should contact Fire Chief Ryan Swanson at: 218-844-7665.

Related Topics: DETROIT LAKESBECKER COUNTYGOVERNMENT AND POLITICSELECTION 2022DETROIT LAKES CITY COUNCIL
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