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Colonial Beach audit report is ‘pretty clean’

 

Nancy Miller of Miller Foley Group presented 2010 audit findings for the current fiscal year at a Special Town Council meeting held on Nov. 24 at 9 a.m.  Miller noted that improvements in the town’s financial reporting are “the result of two years of effort by the town and the schools” and deemed the town’s financial state to be “pretty clean.” The findings show a major improvement over audits performed in 2008 and 2009, which uncovered 19 serious deficiencies in 2008 and three serious deficiencies in the handling of grant money in 2009.  

 

 

The current audit report shows only one material weakness, an incomplete listing of the capital assets held by the schools, which is being reviewed and remedied by the school.  When questioned by town council member Gary Seeber, Miller noted the school system is “beyond diligent” when submitting reimbursement funding, which had been an issue with the previous school administration and previous school board.   
Both the town and the schools ended the fiscal year in the black, with the town holding a surplus of approximately $518,000 and the schools holding a surplus of approximately $125,000.  
Miller did, however, “encourage caution in the future.” Miller further noted, “Cutting cost is no longer an option. The state is looking to cut services.”  Miller further advised the council to insure that the “utility fund is operated as a for-profit business” and to “make sure charges for services are covering operating costs.”
Council members were generous in their gratitude and thanks for a job well done to Town Manager Val Foulds and her staff and to School Superintendent Donna Power and her staff and to the School Board.  Council member Karen Payne noted “We’ve come a long way.”  Vice Mayor Burkett Lyburn thanked “the school board and the staff at town hall” and “commended your diligent work together.”  Mayor Fred Rummage summed up the improved audit findings saying “We have a much different audit report.  Mr. Trivett, you and your people are to be commended.”
When questioned during public comment period by a reporter regarding the upcoming embezzlement trial of Barbara Worrell, former school finance officer, and why the alleged embezzlement never showed up in previous audits of town finances, School Board Chairman Tim Trivett said “We have a complete change in administration and a new operating system now.”  Trivett further noted “There was no checks and balances in that school division.  We strive to make sure we are 100 percent above board.”  Seeber further responded “There are new processes in place now — the issue is still in court.”

 

Kathy Flanagan

 

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