2011-05-19 / Local & State

County Hears Audit Update

Building issues reviewed
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

The Fulton County auditors met with the commissioners this week to review a memo regarding the status of the audit report for the 2010 fiscal year.

In their announcement, auditors Rebecca Kendall, Kimberley Seiders and Phyllis Bard said they followed a suggestion of the county external auditor, Zelenkofske & Axelrod, by performing the audit in a different manner than in past years.

The auditors told the commissioners they audited accounts from each of the county’s offices and analyzed them for accuracy in regard to accounting practices. “If problems were identified in a particular account, we concentrated on the problem and helped the employee who was having a problem to find solutions,” they said. “We also made suggestions on how some information could be retrieved in a more efficient manner to create an audit trail.”

The auditors further noted they randomly sampled certain accounts and followed the audit trail from the point of origin through bank reconciliation.

Tentatively scheduled to wrap up their duties on Friday, the auditors will return to their office in September to work in conjunction with Zelenkofske & Axelrod on the completion of Department of Community and Economic Development reports. This specific report will not be completed until the county closes out its books on June 30. An extension has accordingly been granted by Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Douglas Herman until November 30 for completion of the report.

Meeting with business manager Tim Stanton, the commissioners received an update on electricity usage between December 2009 and April 2011. According to Stanton, the geothermal loop located in McConnell Park would save the county on heating costs but increase electric fees.

In comparing electricity use in April 2010 to April 2011, electric usage increased by 155 percent at the Neighborhood Service Center. Usage rose by 323 percent at the courthouse and 587 percent in the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) office area.

Stanton stated the main focus area in terms of dollars and percentage in the future would be EMA. It is possible an air-conditioning unit in that area may be the biggest contributor to the electricity issue.

Additional fuel savings are expected to be accrued once the sheriff’s office is linked to the geothermal loop, the group concluded.

Briefly touching on the renovation project, Stanton said there has not been any improvement in recent weeks on outstanding construction issues involving Palmer Construction and Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates.

The commissioners and Stanton discussed the ongoing water infiltration issues in the basement of the Shelley & Witter building, which is a stone-foundation house lacking footers. The basement is “leaking” and has an uneven dirt floor, said Stanton, who added the next step would be to check the building’s gutters and downspouting for blockage. He noted it is likely the county will end up putting in drainage and radon mitigation measures as well as a concrete floor.

The commissioners signed off on a proposal from True Services, which will work with the county on radon systems and testing in the lower level of the Services for Children facility. The company is slated to receive $3,200 in connection with its services.

Approval was given to liquid fuel funding for Thompson Township in the amount of $4,300.

County projects coordinator Karen Hann conducted a public hearing to discuss the proposed modifications to the 2010 fiscal year Community Development Block Grant contract. No comments or concerns were expressed on the suggested changes.

Technology Director Eldon Martin reviewed a proposal submitted to the county by Human Services Director Jean Snyder to lease a new photocopier. The commissioners gave a nod of approval to initiate the lease.

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