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REPORT: New details reveal serious financial woes in Clinton after review of audit report

1 year 11 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, December 17 2019 Dec 17, 2019 December 17, 2019 9:25 PM December 17, 2019 in News
By: WBRZ Staff

CLINTON - An audit conducted for the town of Clinton revealed serious financial problems for the town.

According to a report by the Advocate, Auditor Minda Raybourne told the Board of Alderman Tuesday that it needs "a top-to-bottom review of your revenue and expenses."

The accountant urged the board to conduct rate studies for its gas and sewer systems after losing roughly $797,250 of the Utility Fund between 2016 and 2018.

The audit, for spending in 2018, notes errors or unexplained discrepancies in several town departments.

More scathing findings from the audit include:

-Failing to keep up-to-date records of customer deposits for utilities or having a separate bank account for meter deposits.

-Paying for more accrued vacation leave than town policies allow when employees resign or retire.

-Permitting the General and Utility Funds to borrow nearly $150,000 from the dedicated sales tax money in the Street and Sidewalk Fund, which might be illegal.

-Failing to pay federal payroll taxes and  and retirement system expenditures on time.

-Violating state laws by spending 24 percent more than budgeted during a fiscal year, when regulations cap overspending at five percent.

-Failing to keep accurate books in its general fund ledger and in the documents tracking traffic ticket revenue.

In other action, the board chose Bart Blackledge as a new alderman. Former Alderman Mark Kemp, who held the seat before, has taken over for Mayor Lori Ann Bell, who resigned shortly before pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge related to her improperly handling contracts for town and police vehicles.

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