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Auditor: Toledo needs Road Use Tax, Reinig Center budget adjustments

November 1, 2012
By John Speer - Editor , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

No major problems were noted with Toledo city finances in the annual audit report reviewed by the city council on Monday night, Oct. 22. Beth Miller, Bowman and Miller CPAs, presented her firm's findings and noting mostly routine recommendations.

The city ended fiscal 2011-12 on June 30 with a $201,611 general fund balance.

Miller noted the Road Use Tax Fund had a positive balance totaling $2,471, an improvement she said over he past two years which showed deficits.

However, she said the council might reduce road expenditures to improve the position of the fund.

She also said the council needs to look at fees for the Reinig-Toledo Civic Center which showed a $2,244 deficit. She recognized the council had already held a meeting to discuss the center's operations.

According to the audit, revenues for 2011-12 included (previous year in parenthesis):

-property taxes- general- $595,552 ($590,473; debt service - 251,613 (243,330); and employee benefits - 259,467 (99,605) - increase in levy rate from 1.58 to 4.2 to cover items; road use tax 245,949 (947,649) - 2011 included payment for much of the construction of the new public works building in this amount; water fund revenue 3312,682 (296,496); sewer fund revenue 548,801 (1,329,778)- a portion of funding for the new waste water treatment plant was included in 2011 revenues; Reinig Center 57,594 (73,490).

Expenses noted in the audit by category (previous year in parenthesis): public safety $775,382 ($591,036) - a new ambulance $133,902 and new police department truck $20,000 boosted the 2011-12 budget; public works 275,551 (1,118,827) -payment for most of the new public works building included; culture and recreation 322,408 (316,721); community and economic development 10,394 (9,880); general government 241,831 (269,665); Reinig Center 63,236 (70,608).

The city has outstanding debt totaling $1,716,505 in Revenue Notes and $2,405,000 in General Obligation Bonds.

Miller, the auditor, said more of a division of duties is desirable in the City Clerk's Office but recognized small cities do not have personnel and resources to accomplish everything. This recommendation is routine in most small city audits and has been seen in most Toledo audits in the past.

Miller also recommended city council members review invoices to assure they are valid. She noted the ownership of Wilkerson Hardware by the the city clerk's husband, Tom Wilkerson. She said by reviewing invoices paid to the hardware store, city council members would reduce any suggestion of impropriety as the councils continued to follow policy of buying locally.

The audit also noted the janitorial service for the Toledo Community building provided by Duane Wood, husband of former Mayor Pam Wood. Because her term ended, any issue with this arrangement became moot, the report said.

The audit found the council had gone into closed session on several occasions during the year but, at least in some instances, the reason for the closed sessions were not documented properly according to the Iowa Open Meetings Law.

The city response to the matter is to properly document closed session in compliance with the law.



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