Waynesboro City Commission Hears 2018-19 Audit Results

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   The Waynesboro City Commission met in regular session on Monday, September 28th, 2020 at City Hall in Waynesboro. All commissioners were present, including Mayor Chris Bevis, Vice Mayor Jeff Davis, Commissioner Jeff Howell, Commissioner Lynn Warren, and Commissioner Tony Creasy. Also in attendance were City Manager John Hickman and City Recorder Paige Jackson.

   Mayor Bevis called the meeting to order, and Commissioner Creasy offered the invocation.

   Commissioner Howell made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting. The motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Davis, and the minutes were unanimously approved.

   The first item of new business on the agenda was a review of the fiscal year 2018/2019 city audit. City auditor Mark Godwin, CPA, reviewed the audit with the commission, confirming that the city once again received an “unqualified opinion,” which is the highest opinion an auditor can make. Godwin praised the city for being financially healthy, with healthy fund balances in all accounts. He said that the city is very “fiscally minded,” and is in overall good financial condition.

   The audit produced only four findings, with corrections already having been made toward them before the audit results were presented. The findings are listed below, along with management’s responses for correction:

   1. INADEQUATE SEGREGATION OF DUTIES

   The operating structure of the City does not provide adequate segregation of duties between persons with access to assets and those responsible for reconciling records and recording transactions. This was also a finding in the prior year. The cause of this finding was identified as a lack of accounting staff. Management’s response was that the City Manager and City Recorder will review and document its review of the financial transactions incurred by the city.

   2. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS MATERIALLY MISSTATED BEFORE AUDIT

   The city had materially misstated some numbers in the financial statements. Material adjustments were required because the city’s financial reporting system did not prevent, detect, or correct potential misstatements in the accounting records. The city concurred with the finding, and said that the new finance officer/bookkeeper will attend classes and training, and the city will purchase necessary software to ensure compliance.

   3. PURCHASE ORDERS

   Purchase orders were not issued properly. Some purchase orders had no amounts while some others were issued after the purchase was made. There were some expenditures with no purchase orders. The cause of this finding, a repeat finding as well, was identified as the client being unaware of the necessity. Mr. Godwin told the commission that this finding did not indicate a widespread issue with purchase orders; only a few were identified in the sample taken for the audit. Management’s response said that the city will research and pursue a more efficient policy to streamline and become more effective in purchasing, with the approval of the board.

   4. INTER-FUND RECEIVABLES

   Inter-fund receivables were not eliminated within one year of origination. Management’s response was that funds will be transferred immediately to appropriate accounts as soon as the current year audit is finalized and verified by auditors.

   The renewal of the city’s auditing contract with Godwin and Associates was next. City Manager Hickman first inquired as to when the FY 2019/2020 audit would be completed, and Mr. Godwin said that it would be ready by November or December at the latest. Commissioner Howell made a motion to retain Godwin & Associates as city auditors for another year, at the same price of $22,000.00. Commissioner Creasy seconded the motion, and the motion was passed unanimously.

   The next item of new business on the agenda was the acquisition of county water lines on Highway 13 North and Natural Bridge Road. City Manager Hickman said the Wayne County Executive Jim Mangubat and the county’s engineering firm had met with each of the three cities in the county regarding the cities taking over the county water lines. The water lines proposed for the City of Waynesboro to take over are located on Highway 13 North and on Natural Bridge Road. The county proposed to pay the debt still owed on the lines in the ground, and to pay the city $105,000.00 over a six-year period to help offset repairs and depreciation. Hickman said that there are 38 customers on the Highway 13 North line, and 10 or 11 customers on the Natural Bridge line. The county water rates have been higher for customers than city rates, and City Manager Hickman said that once the transition is made, the customers will be changed over to the lower city water rates. Commissioner Warren made a motion to approve the water line acquisitions, and Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. The water line acquisitions were unanimously approved.

   A resident of Morrow Street in Waynesboro who previously addressed the commission regarding water to be turned back on at his mobile home spoke to commission once again to clarify what the city is going to do. City Attorney Polk said that he had looked into the city ordinance, and he recommended that the citizen bring his property into compliance with the ordinance within the next year. The commission said that they had agreed to allow water to be turned back on at the property for up to another year while the property owner brings it into compliance.

   Under open items on the agenda, Commissioner Creasy said that the paint on the Clifton Turnpike water tank is looking rough. City Manager Hickman said that the interiors of water tanks must be inspected every five years, which the city has kept up with, but the outside of that tank has not been painted in several years. He said that he would get some quotes for the repainting.

   Commissioner Howell next asked if the city has any plans or suggestions for Halloween this year. The commission agreed that everyone should make their own decisions about whether or not to participate in Halloween activities, and to do whatever they feel is safe for their families.

   Commissioner Howell also asked if a start date has been established for the street paving and patching. City Manager Hickman said that it would be done before November, when the asphalt plants close for the winter.

   Commissioner Warren said that in driving around the city, he discovered that Songer Street West and Taylor Street seem to be problem areas, as they are both very narrow and have trees that obstruct the driver’s line of vision. He also said that he had recently paid more attention to the sidewalk in the Barlow area that has been mentioned in previous commission meetings, and he has noticed that a lot of people walk there, and there seems to be very little maintenance to the sidewalk.

   With no further business to come before the commission, Commissioner Creasy made a motion to adjourn. Vice Mayor Davis seconded the motion, and the meeting was adjourned.