Village enters agreement with auditor’s office

SALINEVILLE-Members of the village council passed a resolution to enter into an agreement with the Local Government Services Section of the State Auditor’s Office (LGS). The agreement allows LGS to proceed with the reconciliation of the village’s cash journal with the bank for the period from Jan. 1, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2013.

Tuesday’s decision to officially turn over the balancing of the village books to LGS, comes after the village was placed on the “unauditable” list in June due to “inadequate” financial records. The auditor’s office gave village officials 90 days to provide the financial data needed to complete the audit and warned that failure to do so could result in possible legal action against the village.

“They were not able to complete the audit because there was about $20,000 they had to reconcile,” Mayor Mary Smith told council members.

To get the financial data needed to complete the audit, council opted to enlist the help of LGS rather than hire a private accounting firm. LGS’s help will come at a cost of $50 per hour, which council members speculated is cheaper than the rate of most private accounting firms.

At Tuesday’s village council meeting Smith produced a letter from LGS addressed to Fiscal Officer Patti Gibson. The letter, dated July 15, asked that council pass a resolution confirming their understanding of the “terms and objectives” of LGS’s agreement with the village. Smith previously noted that a similar agreement was reached during the 2010-11 audit, in which auditors encountered similar issues with village financial records.

Council President Sally Keating questioned why the village was being required to pass a resolution for the agreement, and noted, in the past, a resolution had not been requested.

“It’s a contract,” explained village solicitor Andy Beech. “There really should be legislation authorizing the village to enter into the agreement.”