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Carmi City Council Recap Details 2018 Year End Audit, Facade Improvement Grant, Corn Day Road Re-route approved and more

Botsch and Associates CPA co-owner Arlynn Stroman praised the City of Carmi during her 2018 Annual Financial and Independent Audit Report at the Tuesday night Carmi Council Meeting.  Stroman says the office found no major errors and only had limited suggested adjustments calling many of them categorical in nature.  The balance sheet shows revenues of 3.8 million ($3,840,481) and expenditures amounting to 4.9 million dollars ($4,911,939) giving the city side of things a loss of just over a million dollars, something Stroman says is common.  When you factor in loan proceeds and operating transfers, it comes to a loss of $469,249.

The Utilities summary is “doing very well” according to the auditor.  Stroman reported more than 10 million ($10,142,666) in revenues and a reconciliation with depreciation amounting to a profit of $515,296.

Additionally, Stroman praised the city for something she doesn’t see a lot of…staying in budget.  “Department heads, board members, mayor…I mean everybody involved as far as staying within your budgets…I don’t see a lot of government units that do that.  They pass that budget once a year and they never look at it again.”

The Schedule of Findings and Responses at the back of the budget names 4 recommendations.  Among those, Botsch and Associates reports the city lacks the expertise to make all adjusting entries and prepare financial statements, including disclosures, in accordance with accounting principles and recommends city personnel take training to be able to perform those duties or consult an accountant.  The city has recognized that, accepts full responsibility and is comfortable with the auditor drafting the financial statements and footnotes.  Also, Botsch points out the City lacks a written accounting policy and procedure manual to which the city has responded it will review procedures, document and periodically update a policy and procedure manual.

The final two recommendations, Mayor Pollard had updates for Stroman on including having an additional city employee trained who could handle payroll duties.  Finally, Botsch says internal controls are inadequate at Burrells Woods saying campground fees are being paid on an “honesty” basis.  The mayor says they’re looking into resolving that issue.

Council has accepted a bid for the Marguerite Street Sewer Project.  Mayor Pollard had this to say, “We have been down this road and there was an issue that when we bid out the project the first time, the engineers apparently didn’t have the finances where they were supposed to be, so basically we’ve rebid the project for our employees to do the work and it’s just for the materials.  $58,669 is what the materials will cost and our employees will do the work.”

The White County Historical Society has been awarded a Façade Improvement Grant to have work done on tuck pointing and structure work.

And the Corn Days Parade on October 12th will go on as planned.  Kiwanian Doug Hays moved to reroute traffic October 11th at 3pm through 11:59:59pm on October 12th for Corn Days activities and the measure passed.

Chief Carter reminds the public fireworks are illegal in the state of Illinois and says the state mandated fine is $164.  He says his department has already received dozens of calls, yet no fireworks have been confiscated to this point and no citations have yet to be issued.  Parking will not be allowed this Thursday night for the Carmi Fireworks display.  Carter says as per usual, folks will be allowed to park around the Fairgrounds, but access will be shut off following the Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show ends.

With the July 4th holiday on Thursday, the mayor also noted that city offices will be closed on the 4th and will also be closed on Friday, the 5th.

And finally, a new City Pool Schedule has emerged effective this month.  Water Aerobics will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Municipal Pool from 5:30 to 6:15pm.  Emily Williams is the instructor and each session is $5.  This Thursday will be a FREEdom Swim from 11am – 3pm for July 4th.  The Pool will be closed on Friday however.  Saturday hours July 6th will be 11am – 3pm and July 27th, 11am – 5pm for a Back to School Swim.  Free Swim Fridays will be held on July 12th, 19th, and 26th.  Family and Friends Nights are July 9th, 16th and 23rd from 6 – 8pm.  The pool will be closed August 2nd, 5th and 7th. And the pool will be open August 6th – 8th for free in conjunction with White County Fair Week.  The 8th of August will be the last day in operation for the Carmi City Pool.

City Council did enter into Executive Session just before 6pm to deal with personnel issues, according to Mayor Pollard.  No action was expected to follow however.