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County finances stable, auditors say

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By LPR Staff

Editor/POST-REGISTER

 

As Caldwell County Judge Kenneth Schawe and Interim Auditor Liz Mundine gear up to prepare the County’s 2017-18 Fiscal Year budget, an outside auditor reported that the county is in a healthy financial position on Monday morning.

The audit report presented by Rutledge Crain and Company reflected

that the County has a healthy fund balance to maintain operations, but procedures should be developed to help the County maintain better control of their finances.

Specifically, the auditors nodded to a failure of certain departments to remit fees to the State in a timely manner, creating a bottleneck of payments that the County has been trying to rectify for months. Though the procedures are being developed to avoid such a situation in the future, the outside auditors are legally required to make mention of the fact, in reviewing the books for the prior fiscal year.

Additionally, they noted the County’s current payroll procedures often result in over- or under-payments, which require correction after the fact. They recommend that the County change and streamline the payroll procedures, so employees are not being paid prior to days worked.

A committee has already been put in place to review and revise payroll procedures. They are expected to bring a recommendation to the Court soon.

In other business during the brief meeting, the Commissioners discussed abandoning an alleyway in the Dale area, which would allow the property to be reverted to the adjoining property owner.

There is question, however, as to whether the County has the right to abandon the property, and civil attorney Jordan Powell said she hoped for more time to review information about the property before making a recommendation to the Court. The measure will be brought back during the month of June.

The Commissioners also approved amendments to the current fiscal year budget to create the line items necessary to fund the Memorandum of Understanding with the San Marcos River tubing outfitters. The agreement will see the outfitters contributing to the cost of law enforcement, public safety, and river cleanup, beginning with their summer 2017 season, beginning this weekend.

In brief news:

The Commissioners approved bids on two properties recently sold for delinquent taxes.

They selected a contractor to assist with the preparation of a Hazard Mitigation Plan.

The County paid bills in the amount of $734,922.03.

The Caldwell County Commissioners Court routinely meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in the second floor courtroom of the Caldwell County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the public and are available for online viewing at www.co.caldwell.tx.us.

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