City Clerk/Finance Department
Finance Director: Scott Bird
101 S. Hickory
Ottawa, KS 66067
The mission of the City Clerk/Financial Department is to promote the effective and efficient use of financial resources, to protect city assets and to provide administrative, clerical and record keeping support for the City of Ottawa, Kansas.
The department provides services in four core business areas: Utility billing and collections, clerk services, budget preparation, and financial management. The nature of these and other initiatives assigned to the department entails support to the Governing Body, the City Manager’s office, other city departments and the citizens of the community. In addition, the department provides leadership and expertise in the development of legislation and policy initiatives to the City Manager’s Office.
Finance plays a key role in the development of the annual budget, financial planning and monitoring, accounting, bookkeeping and treasurer duties. Additional responsibilities include the coordination and development of policies with respect to investments, as well as, responsibility for forecasting and monitoring, and issuance of debt. This department develops and provides advice and recommendations on matters relating to taxation and licensing, analyzes, designs options, provides information, offers advice and recommendations, implements adopted legislative measures and provides administrative support to carry out priorities as established by the governing body. In addition, the department assists in the implementation of tax relief programs,including: economic development tax abatements, industrial revenue bonds, and tax increment financing. Functions include: accounts payable, debt issuance, utility billing, meter reading, utility collections, accounting, and bookkeeping; processing various payments, fines and fees, reports and refunds; monitoring and collecting outstanding receivables, carrying out enforced collection procedures when required, processing applications for the Utility Assistance Program; registration and licensing for the retail sale of alcohol, cereal malt beverages and tobacco, animals, taxi services and itinerant vendors.
Treasurer functions include responsibility for monitoring the city’s cash flow requirements; cash management of all funds; the timely receipt and deposit of all municipal revenues to ensure on-time payment of monies to minimize short-term finance charges; administration of outstanding debt; payroll, data processing and utility billing; investment management and oversight of city’s health insurance. Additional responsibilities include management of the Data Processing and Meter Reading functions. Data Processing controls the city’s main informational equipment including an IBM A/S400 system, which operates and provides backup to the payroll, general ledger and utility billing systems. The Meter Readers use an ITRON reading device to collect data in the field, which is downloaded to the city’s computer system and used to calculate utility bills for Ottawa’s 6,000 electric and 5,000 water customers. In addition, support and backup services are provided to the Human Resource Department, working closely with the director to fulfill those duties in the absence of the director. Duties in this area include: KPERS, KPF and ICMA retirement programs, health insurance and cafeteria plan tracking, as well as, assisting employees with benefit and retirement decisions.
The City Clerk r ecords official transactions and proceedings for all meetings of the governing body; maintains custody of minutes, resolutions, ordinances, and other official records; prepares reports for and communicates with the city manager and the governing body; coordinates the development of economic development tax exemption applications; provides access of open records information to the general public; works with individual citizens, as well as, local community groups and assists in the development of and receives petitions related to various community matters.
The Building Maintenance Division oversees the custodial care and maintenance of City Hall and the Police Department. In addition, this division is responsible for maintaining and assisting in the care of other public property, including: The Carnegie Building, the historic City Hall Building, the Don Woodward Recreational Building and the Municipal Auditorium.