Auditor’s report shows no problems with county finances
Auditor Zach McCain of Perry & Associates told the Morgan County Commissioners there were no indications of trouble with the county’s financial reports from the last fiscal year.
McCain brought the final audit to the October 6 commission meeting, and offered to answer any questions about the findings, which he said showed the county had “clean financial statements.”
Commissioner Brad Close, who is an accountant, asked about some comments on the audit that showed areas needing improvement.
McCain said those comments reflected areas where the previous auditor should have made adjustments, but didn’t.
He said some counties pay to have someone compile financial data to include in their own records at audit time. Sometimes that can catch discrepancies ahead of time, he said.
Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson asked County Clerk Debra Kesecker, whose office is in charge of budget and financial statements, if a pre-audit report would be beneficial.
McCain said that service would cost the county another $6,750 or so per year on top of the $13,500 audit cost.
Kesecker said she was okay with adjustments on the audit if the alternative was to spend several thousands of dollars.
“I think we need to talk about it during the budget discussions,” said Commission President Stacy Dugan.
County resident Ted Meek asked the commissioners to consider a few ways to keep recycling services and hours intact at the Charles Biggs Recycling Center, despite recent budget cuts at the Solid Waste Authority.
The group stopped taking glass recyclables and cut its weekly operations to 12 hours (down from 20) at the beginning of October to cover a revenue shortfall.
Meek urged county officials to consider ways to restore the services. He said he had talked with a recycling service in Winchester that would consider picking up all of Morgan County’s recycling items at cost.
Hauling trailers full of recyclables is a major expense for the group. Only a few categories of items, like metal, generate money for the center.
Meek said the man he spoke with would be willing to come talk to the commissioners about his business and his proposal to do a one-month trial with Morgan County’s recycling.
The commissioners told Meek that the Solid Waste Authority would need to make a decision about who takes their materials, and how that would impact their budget.
Meek suggested the group could put donation boxes out at the center so residents could help support the recycling effort.
Former Solid Waste board member Alan Burge said he thought the group was prohibited from collecting donations, since they are a quasi-governmental group.
That’s why the group partnered with the Eco Coalition when raising money for the recycling center construction.
“Donations are not a way of funding something. It’s a nice bonus, but you can’t plan on it,” said Burge.
Commissioner Hutchinson said the county grants administrator would be working with the Solid Waste Authority to make sure they were seeking all grants they were eligible to receive.
Maintenance truck, bell
In other business, county officials authorized the county maintenance crew to select a used truck from the Department of Highways surplus inventory at the price of $3,500. The truck will replace the current pickup, which needed a new engine.
Officials also talked more about plans for the old courthouse bell, and where to place it on display.
They have received estimates of $350 to $1,300 to have it sand blasted and primed or restored.
Commissioner Dugan wanted to clarify which process would make the bell weatherproof so it could be displayed outside, and which would require the bell to be placed inside the courthouse.