City, utilities receive 2006 audit review

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 24, 2007

LINDEN &045; The city and its utilities department received their annual audit reports for 2006 at a joint meeting Tuesday.

Billy Cox, representing the accounting firm Aldridge Borden Co., presented both entities with a brief run down of the completed financial summary. Cox began with the utility department’s audit and followed up with the city’s report.

Cox said the utilities department had a $20,000 rise in revenues during the year. He said the audit was pretty good overall, but did mention the utility department should set aside some money in the future.

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Cox said if a reserve is not in order when sudden repairs are needed the department will have to take out loans to cover the unexpected costs. He recommended the board look ahead and begin setting aside funds to cover any emergency repair costs that might arise.

During the city audit, Cox said the city’s revenues and expenses basically broke even, though taxes were down around $30,000 form the previous audit.

Cox said the rise in police costs is directly attributable to the new police vehicles needed by the department and wasn’t a major issue. He noted the total net assets of the city, around $2.7 million, dropped by $14,000 over the financial period. Hall said the drop was due to unforeseen expenditures that have since been recurred.

Cox also said the city had $1.5 million in certificates of deposit remaining from a bond issue that the city is still paying off. He said since the interest on the bond issue money is close to the cost of the bond interest itself, he recommend the city retain the money and not pay off the loan.

Cox said the only problem the audit had to report involved the city using a stamp at one point to sign checks due to the mayor’s illness. He also recommended the city separate operations and recordkeeping for the court’s money. He said the audit had looked into both problems for losses and found no problems.

Both Hall and Mayor Pro Tem Alvin &8220;Butch&8221; King said they remedied the stamp situation as soon as they were notified that it might be a potential problem. All checks written by the city now receive three signatures for accountability during the mayor’s absence.