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Town and village look to have audits done

December 13, 2012
By JESSICA COLLIER - Staff Writer (jcollier@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

TUPPER LAKE - Both the town and village are looking to have audits done to ensure they are doing things correctly.

The town has had a rough series of state audits in recent years, but the village hasn't had any run-ins with the comptroller's office since the late 1990s.

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Town board

Town Councilwoman Kathy Lefebvre suggested at Monday's board meeting that the town have an independent audit done to ensure that sufficient changes have been made since the last state audit, released in June 2010, which found that the town had poor fiscal oversight.

"I think we've made a lot of headway," Lefebvre said. "I think we've gotten things under control."

Many of the problems found in that audit were blamed on the town's accounting system, which was then replaced. The woman who was keeping the books, Sandra Strader, has since retired, and a new bookkeeper, Mary Sue Wolson, has been doing it since spring 2011.

Councilman David Tomberlin said Monday he wants to know whether the new accounting system has solved all the issues or if there are still some lingering ones.

"I think it's a good idea," said Councilwoman Patti Littlefield.

Town Supervisor Roger Amell said that an independent audit would likely focus more on accounting than on procedural matters, like the comptroller's office usually examines.

Tomberlin and Lefebvre said they would draft a request for proposals and look to have the audit done in February or March.

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Village board

The village board also approved, at the end of November, an audit for the village. The audit will look at internal controls over village finances.

Village Clerk Mary Casagrain told the board at their November regular meeting that board members don't have the time or the expertise to do a full review of those things, and it's the board's responsibility to ensure things are working correctly.

"Someone needs to be checking us," Casagrain said. "It gives us that extra level of integrity."

She said the auditor will provide a list of recommendations, and if the list is long, the village can do another audit next year.

An accounting firm approached the village about doing the audit. It proposed doing the audit for $7,500 plus out-of-pocket expenses like meals, Casagrain said.

The board took a week so village Trustee Rick Donah could review the proposal, then board members approved the audit at a special meeting the last week of November. The audit was planned to be conducted in mid December.

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Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 26 or jcollier@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.

 
 

 

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