FORESTVILLE - A state comptroller's audit of the village's water fund has found inaccuracies as well as shoddy record keeping.
According to the audit, the village water rates are in question as well as the way records on the water fund were being kept. "Although the Board raised water rates five times (at a rate of 233 percent) starting in June 2007, it did not establish a reserve to set aside any of these resources to fund project costs or the debt service payments that are expected to begin in the Village's 2013-14 fiscal year," the report notes. "We also found that the Clerk-Treasurer's records for the water fund were inaccurate, and misrepresented the fund's financial condition. The Clerk-Treasurer improperly reported certain project expenditures in the operating fund, making operating costs appear higher than they should have been. The Board prepared annual budgets based on this incorrect data."
The audit also shines some light on the resignation of former clerk Marcia Peterson, who was not specifically named in the report. She resigned in August while the investigation was taking place.
"Because the Clerk-Treasurer bills, collects, records, deposits, and makes adjustments with no oversight, errors have occurred and not been corrected. For example, our tests identified under-billings of about $1,964 and net overbillings of about $1,188," the audit stated. "Further, we found that the Clerk-Treasurer did not properly include all unpaid water bills and fees on the tax roll for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Finally, the Clerk-Treasurer did not accurately maintain the general ledger. Due to inadequate internal controls, the Board lacks assurance that all water customers are paying the appropriate amount due, in a timely manner, and that the records accurately reflect the results of water operations. Poor records also inhibit the village's ability to correctly file its required Annual Update Document (AUD), and the Board's ability to make well-informed financial management decisions."
For its part, Forestville agreed with the recommendations set forth by the comptroller's office. Click on a link with this story to view the audit.