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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 20, 2014

Past accounting elicits discussion at RUSS meeting

By TRISHA PHELPS | Apr 18, 2014

MT. PLEASANT (GTNS) – “I don’t care what standard practice has been in the past,” said Washington County Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. at the Regional Utility Service Systems board meeting. “If it is standard practice to approve something we know is not true then I’m against it.”

Seward was referring to the March 19 financial statement that the RUSS board was asked to approve, which stated that the Richmond project balance of fixed assets was $181,435.57 and Rubio’s balance was $127,551.91. These items had been paid for in February.

Seward made the motion that the March financial statements be approved with the revisions that the Richmond and Rubio balances both be stated as zero dollars and the total fixed assets total be reduced by the amounts previously stated that Richmond and Rubio projects owed.

“For the March 19 meeting there was discussion on why Richmond and Rubio were still written as having a balance, and what you are looking at there is not what the actual balance is,” explained Bruce Hudson, RUSS executive director. “Those are fixed assets so those are expenses and talking to TD&T [RUSS’s accounting firm] that will be changed for the fiscal year 2014, they just don’t have time to do it right now, but they are going to go in and change those all to zero dollars.

“They just don’t have time to do that right now,” Hudson continued. “Per our phone conversation with them, we requested that those get changed as soon as tax season is over. So that is when it will be taken care of.”

Approving something that was not yet corrected didn’t sit well with some of the supervisors, however.

“We really shouldn’t approve this though, if the numbers are still on there,” said Bob Waugh, Van Buren County supervisor.

“The 2014 audit will show that was the expense and that it was paid off,” replied Hudson.

“That’s fine, but what we are saying is that to approve this, we are approving something that is not accurate,” said Seward. “Because in reality, the figures that show up here should be $0, and not what is there. What it shows there is inaccurate.”

Not every supervisor was as concerned that the numbers weren’t up-to-date, however.

“This is just what we have always done in the past,” said Ernie Schiller, Lee County supervisor. “We have never done it this way. We have always just waited for TD&T to come in six months later or so. It has always been standard practice as long as I have been on this board to let them update that.”

The board also:

• Considered Fiscal Year 2015 rate resolutions for all RUSS communities.

• Agreed to inform members requesting agenda items if their request was denied and provide the reason for denying the request.The next RUSS meeting will be at 1 p.m. May 14 at the Henry County Emergency Management Building.

 

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