County audit shows sound financial footing
By LPR Staff
During the first regular meeting of the Caldwell County Commissioner’s Court this month, auditors reported the county is in stable financial condition.
The “unqualified opinion” given by auditor and certified public accountant Wayne Beyer was the result of an audit of the county’s 2009 Fiscal Year finances, whic
h was completed recently. Although Beyer noted some areas that require attention and adjustment, he said overall the audit was clean and offered an “unqualified opinion,” which is the best rating such an audit can yield.
Of particular note, Beyer said he was concerned that several deposits, most often through the Caldwell County Tax Assessor-Collector’s office, could not be traced. The deposits were being made, and the funds were in the accounts as expected, he said, but the source of the funds was unclear.
Beyer and Tax Assessor-Collector Mary Vicky Gonzales attributed this challenge to the fact that transfers are not made daily from the satellite office in Luling to the main office in Lockhart, and that, from time to time, a lag in that paperwork exists, with receipts coming in for reconciliation sometimes two and three weeks after the corresponding deposits have been made.
“This is not to say that money is missing, because that’s not the case at all,” Beyer said. “It’s more that the money is there, but the receipts don’t correspond to show where it came from.”
Beyer recommended a streamlining process between the two offices, in which deposits are made frequently, up to once daily, as opposed to sporadically, as they have been in the past. Gonzales said she was already working on that process with her staff, and committed to taking action to resolving the issue in the near future.
The other notable issue Beyer pointed out generates from both the Caldwell County Clerks’ Office and the Caldwell County District Clerk’s Office and is, again, an issue of deposited funds significantly exceeding corresponding receipts.
“This is something that most Clerks in Texas face and something that I know [County Clerk Nina Sells and District Clerk Tina Morgan] have been working hard to clear up,” Beyer said. “Often, the clerk’s offices have money in the accounts leftover from clerks before them, or clerks before that, and they have to go back in time to determine where that money came from and where it’s supposed to be. But these ladies have been doing a good job of trying to sort that out for you.”
Beyer reported the County Clerk’s accounts held upwards of $74,400 in such these “unknown monies,” while the District Clerk’s accounts held $242,904.
Overall, though, Beyer said the audit was a positive for Caldwell County, who holds just over the recommended three months’ worth of surplus in its operating account and who seems to be accurately reporting spending and collections.
In other business, the Court announced an upcoming Community Collection event, which will be held in the Maxwell area on July 17, 2010.
The first such collection event, which with the assistance of grant funding allows rural residents to dispose of larger items of household trash for free, rather than dumping it on county roads, was held in April in the Dale area, and collected several tons of trash.
On the heels of its success, the Court opted to hold a second event, this time for Precinct 3. Additional details about the collection event, including items which will and will not be accepted, will be made available as the date draws near.
The Court also expects a third collection event to be announced later this summer.
In brief news:
The Commissioners again voted against instating an outdoor burning ban in rural areas of Caldwell County, citing heavy rain fall and a Keetch-Byram danger figure that reflects low to moderate chance of wildfires.
They scheduled a public hearing to discuss the proposed Delhi Forest subdivision, which will be located on FM 713. The hearing will be held on June 28, 2010, beginning at 9:15 a.m.
They approved a joint resolution with the City of Lockhart to name the SH-130 wetlands reclamation site the H.T. Wright Memorial Park.
They approved a letter of support for the Community Health Coalition of Caldwell County to pursue a grant under the Telehealth Network program. If won, the grant funds will help the coalition to match Caldwell County residents with specialty healthcare.
The County paid bills in the amount of $195, 414.21, which includes $33,796 in indigent legal defense.
The Caldwell County Commissioners Court meets on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in Room 100 of the Caldwell County Courthouse. Meetings are open to the public and the public is encouraged to attend.