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Third Ave. renamed; audit approved

By Staff, 12/19/17 1:43 PM

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PRESCOTT – Prescott’s City Council voted, in its December meeting to rename and resign Third Ave.

Third Ave. is no more and is now Sandra K. Evans Ave. City Clerk Robert Loe said Evans’ full middle name was spelled out in the ordinance, but this can be amended to only her middle initial. New signs will be ordered and installed accordingly from Hatley Street to Section Line Ave.

The council also approved a resolution concerning the city’s sexual harassment policy. According to the resolution, all city personnel must comply with all state and federal laws regarding discrimination and harassment in the work place. All city employees are prohibited from sexually harassing other city employees. However, the resolution did not describe what is considered to be sexual harassment, not any penalty for any employ who sexually harasses another.

Questions were raised as to whether city employees are given personnel policy handbooks. Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver said all employees hired since he’s been mayor have been given handbooks, but couldn’t say about those hired before he became mayor. The city’s personnel handbook was developed in 1978. It was pointed out only employees with the Prescott Police Department are currently required to sign a document showing they’ve received the personnel handbook.

The council also approved amending the 2017 budget, which shows the addition of $95,648 from what was initially budgeted last December. Carl Dalrymple, city accountant, said the city had a decrease in income of around $250,000, but also showed a drop in expenses of around $345,000. The 95,648 will be added to the 2017 budget’s bottom line, bringing the total up to more than $105,000.

Dalrymple and Brad Crain were asked where the one-cent sales tax money is specifically spent, with Councilman Tommy Poole asking where $122,000 was spent for economic development. Crain said a summary could be provided with these details added if necessary as a more in-depth break down of where the tax money is used can be given to the council.

Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, said a portion of the funds were spent buying back the old hospital property.

Colby Tillmon, an officer with the PPD, was appointed to the Park’s Commission, as there will be a vacancy at the end of the month,

Blake Rodgers, with Turner, Rodgers, Manning and Plyler, the city’s accounting firm, provided an audit report for 2016, saying the city received an unqualified opinion, which is good as no problems were found.

He explained why the accounting firm didn’t find any discrepancies in the PPD’s accounts saying the firm takes a sample size of the departments, and not all departments. He said not all transactions are checked, nor are all deposits. Rodgers continued telling the council, no problems were found in the samples tested. Normally, he added, problems such as those found in the PPD’s accounts, are discovered when someone changes positions or goes on vacation.

In a letter to the council, the firm states the financial statement disclosures are neutral, consistent and clear and no significant difficulties were encountered in dealing with management during the audit.

A second letter, though, noted these areas needing to be addressed in the PPD: variances from bond and fine receipt books and the remittance to the District Court; missing receipt books from mid-August through December; a significant delay in date of collection and date of remittance to the District Court; receipting and depositing duties not being properly segregates; manual receipts not being reconciled with bank deposits; and management not providing adequate fiscal oversight.

However, the PPD wasn’t the only area where accounting problems were found. According to the letter, the utility system’s accounts receivables show more than $503,000 in arrears more than 121 says as of Dec. 31, 2016, though this figure has been reduced from previous years. It also states front desk receipts aren’t deposited in a uniform or timely fashion and some deposits are made as many as seven days after collection. The same was found for the Parks Department concerning deposits being made in a timely manner. It also noted the lack of a segregation of duties for the District Court, though also noting the lack of personnel available. For the Street Department, it was noted invoices aren’t being approved by authorized personnel prior to being paid.

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