Ad Spot

Brian O’Brien | WRIL

Community member Romel Johnson asks questions to audit presenter Matt Shackelford at Tuesday night’s Middlesboro City Council meeting.

Audit presented at city council meeting

At Tuesday night’s Middlesboro City Council meeting, the 2016 audit was presented by Matt Shackelford.

“Sandy has been working tirelessly to update, and we are making a lot of progress on the 17-18 year. We are getting those close to turning them over to your firm,” Nelson said as he introduced Shackelford to the audience.

“This is for the June 30, 2016 fiscal period as the mayor said we’ve preliminary started 2017, and I’ve spoken with your CPA and we are hoping to have them by mid-November,” he said. “Overall on page one is our audit report. This is for all the funds and you’ll see down at the bottom the unmodified which is the clean opinion,” he explained as he walked the audience through the pages. “Other types of things we had to qualify, and we will get into those at the end of the audit when we go over the comments.”

He turned the packet over to page four and explained that it is an analysis and a short summary of the fiscal period in relation to the prior fiscal period.

“It is a few years old now, but it gives you an idea of the budget and revenues and how they go up and down from the prior year,” he explained. “They will be useful as we catch these audits up to the current year.”

Page eight showed the basic financial statements for the period. They are separated by government activities, business activities, the general fund and special state funds.

“Overall, you can see in the indicators in the 15-16 period. You did have an increase in the fund balance in the general fund and the others have a slight decrease,” he said. “Page 14 is the summary for business type activities such as sewer, garbage and ambulance. They are presented the same way as the government type approach. I think you all have done some things in the last three or four years in increasing fees that are changing these funds.”

He pointed out that page 19 shows the notes on the financial statements and the differences in the approaches they have to present.

“Rest of the notes are generalized notes that we put in the audit regarding the LGA Fund and municipal aid fund, and they you do have all the coverage with the insurance to protect you from any type of liability that might occur,” he said. “Page 35 gives you a summary of your budget for the general fund, and it gives you an idea of the actual results for that 2016 year.”

He opened the floor to any questions from the council and the public.

“You said that we don’t have the actual real study,” Councilwoman Jessie Moberg said. “Are there any fines or what are the penalties for not having that?”

“It’s simply what you see here, and it’s an audit finding and it’s just compliance with government standards,” Shackleford responded. “Its intent is to make sure you are budgeting for the pension plan in the future. I think your budgeting intentions are fine.”

“By the way, we spend five pensioners we write for about $16,000 a month,” Mayor Nelson said. “Our obligations is about $180,000 a year for that pension fund, and we are down to about two years and we are obligated to put tax revenue into that pension fund to make sure that one receives their check.”

Nelson explained to the audience that a long time ago, everyone working in Middlesboro was in that pension fund.

“The state came in and started a pension fund for state workers, so Middlesboro bought into that,” he explained. “Some people thought it would be more lucrative to stay in the Middlesboro pension instead of going to the state.”

Nelson then opened questioning up to the public.

“There was an additional required supplement information that is required,” Romel Johnson asked. “Does this mean that the audit is still lacking or is it complete?”

“The audit is complete and that has to do with the newest pension standards that were not implemented yet,” Shackelford said.

“Were there any opportunities noted for improvement?” she asked.

“We did not include those in our notes,” he said. “There’s always room for improvement, but our findings are the major ones, the ones that we thought were worthy of that.”

Glynna Brown complimented the job that Shackelford and the teams are doing to complete the audits and get them up to date.

“I appreciate you guys, and our plan is to get you all caught up in the next few months,” he said.

The audit was presented and approved by the council.

The next item that was discussed was the re-enacting the position of a captain in the Middlesboro Police Department.

The council did an official first reading of the ordinance to re-enact the captain. The ordinance is being sponsored by Councilwoman Jessie Moberg and the second reading will be held in the November meeting.

The next meeting of the Middlesboro City Council will be on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers of City Hall. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.