Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Progress being made at Meeker HRA
Jan. 31, 2011

By Jennifer Kotila
Staff Writer

DASSEL, MN – The new director of Meeker County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (Meeker HRA) is making progress in the transition of management.

At last Monday’s meeting, Jill Bengston, the executive director of Kandiyohi Housing and Redevelopment Authority (Kandiyohi HRA), which has been contracted to operate and manage the Meeker HRA, introduced Monica Pirrotta.

Pirrotta has been hired as the housing manager for Meeker HRA, and will be available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the office at Dassel Apartments.

“Monica has a lot of background and experience with public housing,” said Meeker HRA Board Member Maureen Melgaard-Schneider.

Pirrotta is an employee of the Kandiyohi HRA and will be handling the day-to-day management of Meeker HRA’s public and section 8 housing, such as rental agreements, tenant issues, inspections, and applications.

Look for an article introducing her in an upcoming edition of the Enterprise Dispatch.

It was also evident at the Meeker HRA meeting that Bengston has begun building relationship bridges between the executive director and the resident council, Melgaard-Schneider said.

“So far, Jill has proven, every step of the way, she knows what she is doing,” Melgaard-Schneider said.

As directed by the board at December’s Meeker HRA meeting, Bengston has finalized all snow removal contracts, an issue that was brought up at its last meeting.

Under advisement from Housing and Urban Development Authority (HUD), the Meeker HRA board decided to seek out a new auditor.

At Monday’s meeting, it approved a motion to accept a proposal by Westberg Eischens certified accountants from Willmar to perform the audit for fiscal year 2010, on the condition that the previous auditor, Benusa, Gruber, Meyers, and Associates, would not be charging Meeker HRA for any work it had already done.

The Meeker HRA also designated Bengston as the new data compliance officer, which was previously held by Meeker HRA board member Amy Wilde.

Former HRA executive director Sandy Tischer was in attendance at the meeting to present a letter she had written to the Meeker HRA board of directors regarding the previous article in the Enterprise Dispatch about December’s meeting.

In the letter, which Tischer read out loud at the meeting, she wrote she had never been contacted about reconciled bank statements or transferring financial data to a software system for Kandiyohi HRA to complete the information needed for the audit.

Tischer also brought with her to the meeeting the reconciled bank statements she had in her possession.

When asked by the Enterprise Dispatch why the bank statements had not been at the Meeker HRA office for the new director to have access to, Tischer said the financial work for the Meeker HRA was not done in the office, but at another office where she kept her financial software.

She also noted she had been waiting to be contacted by the new director and Kandiyohi HRA’s accountant to transfer the data.

Tischer also noted that an audit is not required for the Meeker HRA by the federal government because it operates with under $500,000 in federal funding.

This has yet to be confirmed.

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