DELBARTON – At a regular meeting of the Delbarton City Council Monday Feb. 29, council discussed a recent audit conducted on the cities’ financial records.
Delbarton Mayor, John Preece opened the discussion stating, “This is listed under old business. We had the auditors show up last week. They did their field work. They gathered up a lot of information and they left Friday. Supposedly, their field work is completed.”
Preece continued stating, “First of all, the last conversation I had with them, the auditors explained that they wouldn’t be back. My comment to them was, ‘who does your post audit interview?’ We always have that interview with the council to discuss the findings. A finding is something they are saying that is wrong and we need to fix it and it is not uncommon.”
Preece stated that one common finding is a lack of separation of duties. “That is just the nature of the beast that we operate here. We don’t have enough people to separate all the duties related to financing and the handling of the money. We know we are going to have that finding; we always have that,” Preece explained.
Upon completion, the auditors explained to Preece that he could sign off and they would not return to discuss the findings of their audit. Preece stated that his response was, “Well, the council expects to talk about the findings. What are your findings?”
Preece continued, explaining that one finding was a lack of separation of duties and listed other possible findings including lack of control of financial statements. “I am not going to accept that finding on lack of control. We have oversight and control of our financial statements as good as or better than any other town of this size or any size in the state of W.Va. We know, in our finances, what is going on. We have excellent financial statements that are prepared. We deal with the state tax department and Public Service Commission (PSC) day in and day out just about. There is not ever a question on our ability of the control of our financial statements.”
Preece stated that the auditor’s response was, “Well, maybe I shouldn’t do a finding on that.”
Another possible finding could be a delay in the water rate increase for the Delbarton municipality. “I can’t argue with the fact that we did not have that water rate increase done by the end of June (2015). We did not have the opportunity to do that. We did that water rate increase as timely as we possibly could. I don’t know anything else that we as a council or governing body could have done.”
Councilman Albert Totten responded stating, “We had to wait to see what the PSC allowed.”
Preece responded stating, “That is right. If that is a finding, trust me, I will write back on it because we know what the story is.”
The audit discussion continued. “I think we did have some meeting of ground with the auditors. I can’t say that I am unhappy with them until I get the audit report. But if they put some of those findings in there on some of that other stuff, I will refute it. Our records are the best records that you can find anytime, anywhere for a small town,” Preece said.
The next meeting of the Delbarton City Council will be held Monday, March 14 at 5 p.m. in Delbarton City Hall.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)