HMU board receives asset appraisal

    HARLAN -- The Harlan Municipal Utilities Board of Trustees received an asset appraisal at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, June 24, which was required under Iowa Utility Board (IUB) Iowa Code in response to a petition filed with the City of Harlan.
    In October 2020, Harlan residents Mike Anliker and Aaron Anliker presented a petition to the City of Harlan which asked for a public vote to dispose of the utility.
    A total of 113 residents had signed the petition under the premise that the utility was losing money each of the past five years; however, an attorney for HMU proved that to be false. In fact, the utility had been in the black all of those years.
    Nonetheless, a process was put in motion which required HMU to conduct three appraisals and audits and incur legal consultation fees.
    At Thursday’s meeting, the board received a 43-page asset appraisal from Equipment Marketers & Appraisers out of Cedar Falls, which showed assets totaling $797,122.
    The breakdown of the fair market value of the assets is as follows:     •  Telecom Equipment — $455,612; Test Equipment 2 — $30,080; Editing 2 — $10,430; HMU Equipment at Customer’s Service Entrance — $204,000; and Vehicles — $97,000.
    “The highlights of the appraisal are like most communication technology, and computer technology and phone technology it has a limited life,” said HMU CEO Ken Weber. “A lot of times by the time you buy it, it’s already outdated.”
    The board also received a letter from Gronewold, Bell, Kahn & Co, certified public accountants, Atlantic, confirming it will perform an audit of the utilities’ balance sheet for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2021. The audit is expected to begin Aug. 1, 2021 and conclude by Sept. 15, 2021.
    A motion was made to receive and file the asset appraisal and it was approved unanimously.
    All of the appraisals and audits received will be posted on the utilities’ web site.

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