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Audit finds no major problems in city finances

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By Molly Haines

After a year of changes within city hall, auditors reported that the city of Owenton is in good financial shape.

During the Dec. 1 Owenton City Council meeting, Dennis Raisor of Raisor, Zapp and Woods, P.S.C. reported a decrease of liabilities and an increase in those paying their property and franchise taxes.

Raisor said although many cities are facing financial difficulties, Owenton has stayed steady.

“In a year of downturns, Owenton has really held its own,” Raisor said.

Owenton Mayor David “Milkweed” Wotier said he was pleased with the report.

“Its been a difficult year,” Wotier said. “Laura (Aldridge) really had to step in and roll up her sleeves. She has learned a lot from the auditors, and we hope by next year we’ll have everything running as smoothly as possible.”

The auditors also reported that the city is $40,000 richer than last year.

“We’re very conscious of our spending,” Wotier said. “We try not to spend where it’s unnecessary. It’s a matter of knowing how much we’ve got coming in and not spending more than that. The bottom line is there’s not a lot of business or industry in Owenton for cushion; and as much as we’d all like to see new business here, it could be awhile before that happens. So we have to be very careful with how we spend our money.”

The audit did report several minor issues.

The audit reported that due to the small staff at city hall, they are limited in their ability to rotate duties.

As reported in the audit, the limitation may affect the ability to record, process, summarize and report financial data.

The audit recommended management should strive to separate duties as much as staff and cost benefits allow.

The audit also indicated some revenues from employee taxes were not being reported in a timely manner and that there was a failure to collect all license fees.

“The few findings were very minor,” Wotier said. “A lot of them were things that are automatically suggested to cities and I feel very confident that we’ll work through them.”

Wotier said he is proud that there were no major problems in the audit.

“There were no findings of anything unlawful or unethical,” Wotier said. “If it can’t be found, then clearly it’s not happening, and I think that says a lot.”