Grand Lake gets clean audit as trustees give water customers $50 credit, OK Grand Lake Center agreement |

Grand Lake gets clean audit as trustees give water customers $50 credit, OK Grand Lake Center agreement

A driver goes through the COVID-19 response site at the Grand Lake Center in Grand Lake. Tests for the flu and the COVID-19 virus are being collected at the Grand Lake Center and other sites in Grand County, but only if the person seeking the tests has a health care provider's recommendation.
Eli Pace /

Going through Grand Lake’s 2019 audit, Steven Dazzio of Dazzio & Associates gave the town a squeaky clean report on Monday and thanked Town Treasurer Erin Ackerman, whose attention to detail, he said, made his job easy.

In terms of the Grand Lake’s bookkeeping, Dazzio told the board the town had a good audit without any inconsistencies or irregularities, though he felt compelled to point out one important item: Grand Lake is leaving tens of thousands of dollars uncollected by choosing to levy property taxes below the maximum rate.

Dazzio acknowledged that it’s a conscious decision town trustees have made, but he wanted to attach a dollar figure to the lost revenue. Grand Lake has levied property taxes $126,391 below the limit in 2019 and $70,527 below the maximum this year, he told the board.

Further into his report, Dazzio complimented the town’s use of federal funds, saying Grand Lake had another clean audit for its use of federal money with no findings two years in a row. He also noted the town has healthy balances in its general, water, pay as you throw and marina funds.

“Just keep doing what you’re doing on those funds,” Dazzio told the board.

As far as the general fund goes, while Dazzio said the town has adequate cash reserves, he added that the COVID-19 business closures could cut into Grand Lake’s coffers next year.

In other business:

• The town approved a $50 credit on water customers’ bills. After pitching the idea the week before, Trustee Cindy Southway acknowledged that $50 might not be a huge amount, but she said it could help some people weather the economic downturn.

“The reason I proposed it is because, obviously, we’re all in a financial crunch, some more than others, and it seems like something we can do for our townspeople and for our businesses, for everyone who pays a water tap,” Southway said, explaining that the rebate is more like delaying a water rate increase and the water fund is in good shape.

“Fifty dollars may not seem like much, but it’s $50,” she said.

Realizing renters might not see the water credit, trustees strongly encouraged Grand Lake landlords to pass the savings on to their tenants. If units aren’t occupied, owners were encouraged to spend their $50 water credit at any one of Grand Lake’s local businesses.

• Grand Lake approved a memorandum of understanding with Grand Lake Fire and Middle Park Health regarding use of the Grand Lake Center for a COVID-19 response center and test site.

The agreement allows the town to terminate the arrangement at any time, though Crone said the town has no intention of doing that as long as the facility is serving the people of Grand Lake during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement will now go to Middle Park Health and Grand Lake Fire for their approval.

Correction: This story originally misidentified Grand Lake Treasurer Erin Ackerman.

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