PONTIAC — The city of Pontiac contracted with Plante & Moran last summer to act as official controller for city finances. The contract, according to the Oakland Press, will cost $155,000 through 2006 and $351,000 for calendar year 2007. In each succeeding year the cost is $326,000; however, the city intends to replace the firm with its own staff within two years.

The city hired the public accounting firm because its own books were in such disarray that officials were unable to determine the precise financial position of the city. In addition to Pontiac, Plante & Moran “also performs day-to-day operations” for communities such as Highland Park and River Rouge, according to the Oakland Press.

The city of Pontiac has seen deficits that range between $50 million and $60 million. The city has sold bonds to mitigate the deficit and is currently weighing privatizing its golf course, selling the Silverdome and other assets, and even contracting for janitorial services within its police department headquarters, among other facilities.

The next financial audit is due by Dec. 31, at which time the world will know much more about Pontiac’s financial position and its need for additional cuts or privatization.