The Enterprise City Council received an audit report from Cindy Jensen of Aldrich and Company on Tuesday night that showed several areas in which the city needs to make adjustments to the way it operates and to the software programs that it uses to generate general ledger reports and utility reports.
Perhaps the most significant issue that the auditor brought up, said council president Brent McKeeman is in the reconciliation of the bank statements.
“You want the books to balance,” he said. “What we are doing is bringing in outside help.”
Kim Rutter, the city treasurer, is being asked to spend the extra time that is needed to bring the books into balance.
“One of the problems we have is having enough staff, this is going to help us get on track,” he said.
The general ledger software is sufficient; but there are glitches in the system that is causing improper reports to be generated.
“We just need to figure out the reconciliation, there is something to fix in there to get it balanced. It is hard to catch up, but once you are balanced it is easier to stay balanced,” he said.
The city council was reminded that the end-of-year balance should not be in the negative as it was at the end of 2012. The general fund was negative $15,777 and the water fund was negative $1,108.
Neither are huge amounts, but McKeeman said if the council had made the appropriate adjustments to the budget throughout the year, that wouldn’t have been an issue. He attributed the negatives to rising costs, especially in law enforcement; and a decrease in revenue as tax assessments have gone down.
“The previous year we just didn’t correct enough. Part of that is you have to know what to adjust to. If we get the utility software fixed we won’t have that problem,” he said.
The city has new software to track utility usage, but lack of staff has caused delays in fully implementing it.
“It’s about having enough time and energy to fix it right so we don’t have problems going forward,” he said.
It was through this audit that it was discovered that several Enterprise residents, including one council member was considerably delinquent on their utility payments.
Several members of the audience had expected that the council would address the conflict with the councilperson whose utilities were delinquent at Tuesday’s meeting. McKeeman turned the discussion in that direction but quickly stated that he felt there was nothing that could be gained by rehashing the discussion that was held earlier in the month when it was suggested that the councilwoman resign. That resignation was not forthcoming at Tuesday’s meeting.
“We know why the public is here, the council is at an impasse right now and I don’t know what good can come of it going over it again tonight,” he said effectively putting an end to that discussion.
In related discussion, it was stated that the city did eight water shut-offs and has a list of 33 residences that city employees are trying to contact to ensure they are aware of their delinquent situation.
Landowners who have rental properties made the request that as the city council fine tunes its delinquency policies it create a means for landowners to be notified if their tenant is behind on their payment.
“By state law the landowner has an obligation to pay some of that,” McKeeman said.
The idea was well received by the council.
Other issues that the city council will need to look at is cross training the assistant clerk so there are two people trained in the record-keeping tasks; and working ensuring that all traffic tickets issued by Enterprise police officers are accounted for. For example, if an officer voids a ticket, that voided ticket needs to be notated that it was voided.