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Posted on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 : 4 p.m.

Chelsea Area Fire Authority financial statements given 'unqualified' opinion by audit firm

By Lisa Allmendinger

The Chelsea Area Fire Authority books received an unqualified audit rating, the highest possible, Thursday night from Pfeffer, Hanniford and Palka, certified public accountants, the authority’s auditors.

The audit statements represent the 10 months that ended Dec. 31, 2009, because during the year, the authority changed its fiscal year end to a calendar year.

The audit shows that as of Dec. 31, 2009, the authority had about $2.901 million in total assets, $1.758 million in total liabilities and $1.142 million in total net assets. In addition, its fund balance grew by about $28,000, and capital assets increased by about $522,000.

In May 2009, the taxpayers in the member municipalities of Chelsea, Lima, Lyndon and Sylvan townships passed a 1.8 mill levy for five years. Chelsea began collecting this tax in its summer 2009 tax bill, while the townships began with the December 2009 tax bills.

“The audit shows that the taxpayers’ dollars are being wisely spent,” said LuAnn Koch, the CAFA board chairwoman. “I’m thankful every day that we have the millage.”

The anticipated revenues from the millage are approximately $1.431 million, which will be used for both operations and capital outlay purchases for the authority.

“I think the authority budgets carefully and doesn’t overspend and looks carefully at what’s there,” said Pat Hanniford, a partner in the accounting firm.

Lisa Allmendinger is a freelancer writer for She can be reached at