MENOMINEE — The City of Menominee’s Finance Committee will recommend the city sign a three-year contract with a new accounting firm that could save up to $8,000 a year.

City Manager Tony Graff and City Clerk/Treasurer Kathy Brofka presented the committee Monday with two bids received from the eight firms contacted, and recommended the city accept the audit proposal from Gabridge & Co. of Grand Rapids, Mich.

The bid submitted from Gabridge totaled $17,400 for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2018; 2019; and 2020. The only other proposal was submitted by KerberRose of Shawano, Wis., which did the audit last year. That bid was $26,000 for 2018; $26,250 for 2019; and $26,500 for 2020.

Committee members wanted assurances that the Gabridge bid would include everything the city needed done.

“Was the scope of the audit agreed upon?” asked Council member Frank Pohlmann, chairman of the committee. Both Graff and Brofka said they had discussed what the city needed done with the company and the bid price included all those parameters.

Several council members said they were concerned that the audit was lacking in some area, since the amount was less than the city paid for the 2017 audit, but Graff and Brofka assured them that it will cover all the necessary reviews.

Council member Bill Plemel asked if the city would have the ability to withdraw from the contract in the second and third years if it found the work unsatisfactory. Based on his concerns, the motion to recommend accepting the proposal from Gabridge was approved, contingent on City Attorney Rob Jamo looking into that part of the contract.

The committee also unanimously approved a motion recommending to council that it purchase new BS&A software for the building inspector.

Graff told committee members that the current Paradox software is usable, but outdated and non-compatible with other departments. Both the assessor’s office and the cashier office utilize BS&A software.

The $18,565 cost of purchasing the software, data conversions, implementation and training and travel expenses would come out of the 2019 fiscal year, Brofka said, since the software would not be installed until July, Graff said it was necessary to move forward with the purchase now, since installation and training would not occur until July. If the city waited until the 2018-2019 FY started, the installation would be pushed back to the fall.

Graff said this would streamline the data from the building inspector’s office and the rest of the related offices. All of those people who interact with the building inspector’s data would be trained at the same time, he said.

Finally, the committee approved recommending to council to refund money being held in a Downtown Development Authority TIF Fund (DDA Area No. 2 and TIF Financing Plan for DDA Area No. 2) which was established in 2009 for a six-year period, but was not all used.

According to Graff, the money will be refunded to various taxing entities, such as the city, Spies Public Library, Menominee County Road Patrol and the Senior Citizens millage, and the fund will be closed.

The fund has almost $44,000 in it, and of that, the city will receive about $32,700.