Speak Out Loud NA

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What's The Real Deal With That New Sanitation Contract???





We, as citizens, demand a full investigation by our City Council into the matter and issues surrounding the privatization of the Sanitation department and the specific information regarding the sanitation contract
i.e. the leasing of our equipment, the Insurance issues, the location of our equipment (23 – 24 minutes out Dixie Highway, in Louisville, from New Albany), and more importantly – the $$ we have saved (or made), on this “privatized” deal!

Wrecks have occurred, our trucks have been cannibalized, and our New Albany public seal is missing from one truck. Is this particular truck being used in Bullitt County? Some say so, and that would answer the Seal question.

Taxpayers would like some answers, please. Not from the Mayor, not from other ill-informed sources, but the Council. Please, we need to take back what is ours, before it is too late.

That means a Resolution will have to be drafted and approved in order to get those answers; we’ll see who steps up to do the right thing. This is going to require a full OUTSIDE investigation.

The Indiana Law that is applicable would be the following: IAC CHAPT. 3, IC 15-.5.5 SECTION 2. There are others law that will play into this contract, namely government accounting laws. They are on the IN.GOV website for your perusal.

[2006] 80 IAC 3 Disposal of Property (PDF) ... 80 IAC 3-2-2 Disposal of property by means of public sale or auction Authority:IC 15-1.5-2-8 Affected: IC 15-1.5-2 Sec. 2. (a) The ... 3. Indiana Administrative Code (PDF) ... 80 IAC 3-2-2 Disposal of property by means of public sale or auction Authority:IC 15-1.5-2-8 Affected: IC 15-1.5-2 Sec. 2. (a) The ...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

Hello Folks!
Yeah, it's been a while, but there are some interesting new developments that are about to unfold, and this blogster simply can't resist the opportunity to help get these developments out to the community.
Remember when the BRAND NEW Sanitation company was created to take over New Albany's garbage contract and questions were raised concerning the use of the city's facilities and equipment? Well, some of those questions and concerns are about to be answered with indisputable proof of actions occurring that are contrary to State laws regarding publicly owned property.
Stay tuned for more to come in the following days regarding this issue.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Give Peace a Chance

It's been real interesting these last few months to sit back and watch folks banter around with one another on all the blogs and see just how nice, or nasty, you all want to be with each other. This blog has been particularly interesting when there has been no "mediator" (administrator) jumping in trying to 'control' the crazies, the malcontents, or the subject matter...or anything else.
It's actually been quite surprising that many folks and other blogs have demonstrated that they are indeed capable of showing a little respect during discussions, and making actual attempts at compatibility, or at least recognizing some commonality, proving that disagreements can occur without blatant disrespect.
I suppose there will always be those certain individuals that get their kicks out of being asinine jerks, it's just a darn shame that there's that one particular blog among the array of New Albany blogs that has no hesitance to being viscous, confrontational, and downright nasty to anyone who happens to get caught in their 'radar' for one reason or another.
Still, that's the prerogative of the administrators of that blog. If that's the kind of blog they want, they have the right to have it.
What's NOT O.K. is that they keep bringing all that nastiness, confrontations, and questionable "FaCTS" over to SOLNA because they will not deal with "comments" on their own blog, or because they perversely believe they can remain anonymous commenting on the blog that allows anonymity.
The truth is, most folks are absolutely identifiable... by their topics, their targets, and their writing style. Grammar, spelling and sentence construction make some commentor's identity completely unmistakable.
It is exactly those unmistakables that I wish to address in this posting today. Frankly, we're all disgusted with it. Most certainly, we're all tired of reading it, and we've had enough of this "element" using this blog to spread false allegations, to attack innocent people with baseless accusations, and to berate folks with vulgar language and hateful venomous spewing.
So, here's what's going to happen:
FOS, keep it on your own blog! Open up comments if want to air your opinions.
This blog, SOLNA, is going into semi-retirement. Comments will be moderated until further notice. Article postings will be infrequent, but will still occur.
As has been evident lately, my life circumstances dictate that I take a sabbatical from this blogging endeavor due to work and family obligations.
Election time is coming, and things are about to turn very political. As always, we don't discuss political campaigns on this blog, so I feel it's time to turn our collective attention to the "Floyd County Democrat" blog where discussions have been on target, on topic, and on a civil and mature level.
I think I'll much prefer being a participant rather than an administrator for a while. I have a lot to learn regarding the history of some of the folks I hear are going to be running. My stance is that one can't really understand where we are as a community, and as a city, unless one understands how we got to here. Only by understanding fully where we are, will we be able to intelligently make a decision about where we need to go. Hopefully, there will be candidates advocating the same direction.
As for my words here tonight, well, I'm sure I'll wind up in the #1 slot of the sh**-list for a few, I know I've done the right thing for myself and for the issues that are in the forefront for New Albany at this time.
My deepest gratitude to my friends who have helped out with SOLNA and thanks to everyone who has participated.
Good night & good luck New Albany!

We Shall Be Back

We'll be back once the .... go back under the rocks. Sure has been interesting to see what some people in New Albany can call everyone behind their backs; the backbiting you could say. Have a good day New Albany.

We all know who, what and hopefully most of us will never reach the mind set of understanding why....

Open up your own blog for comments. Have a good day finding somewhere else to spew your venom. Later...gone, but not for good.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Report From the New Albany Potty Police

We want to extend a huge THANK YOU to the New Albany Potty Police (NAPP)for being the pro-active citizen advocates they are, Thank you for giving so much of your time and energy, and for being so diligent in your quest for truth and answers.
At the end of this article, folks will find contact information for the EPA official who is overseeing New Albany's problems and handling submitted reports.
If you live in one of the areas that have experiened repeated sewage overflows for years upon years, we think you might appreciate having this information.

New Albany Potty Police Member said...
Speaking of when it rain, it pours...we have some of the stats in from our September 22nd & September 23rd rainfall and how well our Sewers worked.

The City reports 18 sewer system overflows (though the State reports 19), and maintain they did not bypass. The City is declaring this a 42 hour rain even with a total of 6.23".

The City is also maintaining there were no SSO's on the 22nd; we would beg to disagree. The City maintains the overflows did not happen until 9:51 am on the 23rd.

The City maintains Joe Kraft Park didn't have any SSO's. The Engineer questioned how that could be, seeing it was under water by 11:00 pm on the 22nd? "Well, we walked back in there and didn't see any residue." The Engineer was sure any such residue would have washed away.

The other locations were 3 at the Robert E. Lee; 3 on Cherry Valley (underwater by 11:00 pm the 22nd); Linda Drive Area in mini-basin 18. Basin 16 was overwhelmed, which would be the Korb and Sanderson area. Basin 12, which we are assuming would be Cummins and the Lewis Street areas; the Meiers and the I-265 areas; and Arnie's (that's how they refer to the manhole out in the middle of the street). We could have sworn they said they fixed Arnie's, though.

The Old Ford area, where again, not a lot of specifics, but mentioned how a 12 inch line ran into a 6 inch line which ran into a 8 inch line which ran into a 15 inch line which then runs into a 10 inch line. Whew, doggies. Sure hope we got all of that one right.

Up in Silver Hills and the people down on Corydon Pike -- there was totally black sewage running down towards Corydon Pike from between 1705 and 1707 Woodland Rd up behind you. They are maintaining a line completely broke.

Another issue we have with the "reporting" going on is the "guesstimation" there was only 32,520 GPD leaking out during this time frame. State records.

Also, at E 6th and Elm, sewer board says it a storm drain -- is it?

The Engineers weren't buying the Clark-Deitz's "engineering study" done so more houses could be built out the Green Valley/Daisy Lane area. Mr. Fifer (you could hardly hear him) actually admitted he might have a conflict of interest with this subject. Anyways, it was ordered sent to the EPA for their scrutiny. Thank you Mr. Solomon and Mr. Utz.

The missing EDIT monies we were after last YEAR was brought to the floor by the Engineers, this time -- not us. The Mayor told them to go get it from the Council. The Sewer Board misspent the monies and now they want more? Help.

You know there has to be a lot more, but we are tired so to all a goodnight. Thanks for the space, EastEnder.

12:37 AM, October 05, 2006

EPA Associate Regional Council - Erik Olsen 318-886-6829
(Pictures are welcomed) 77 West Jackson Road
Chicago, IL 60604

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pardon the Interruption

We are editing the latest posting with some additional information, and it will be re-posted with a couple of changes.
Besides the added information, most of the comments that were tagged to it will be gone. This is being done for several reasons.
First of all, Freedom of Speech (FOS) has decided NOT to allow comments on that blog. For whatecver reasons, that is their perogative, and it must be respected. Therefore, this blog, Speak Out Loud New Albany (SOLNA), will NOT become the 'default' comment section for FOS.
We have asked again and again that folks stay on topic for discussions and leave the personal attacks and/or 'taunting' off of SOLNA. However, our requests have gone unheeded for the most part, so we must implement some stricter "RULES".
From this point forward any comments about the FOS blog, it's administrator(s), it's policies, it's intentions, etc., etc., will be promptly deleted from SOLNA. Should the person(s) involved with the FOS blog wish to engage in such discussions, the option to open up the site for comments is theirs.
Any and all comments that attack any private citizens on a personal level are off limits as well.
Now, in an effort to endorse idea of community discussions, and in the interest of information disbursement, should there be a "TOPIC" on FOS regarding a community issue that you want to civilly discuss on SOLNA, such comments will be allowed to stand.
This decision has been carefully considered and is not up for discussion, nor will we waste time defending this decision. So, don't waste your time trying to tell us we should be doing things differently.
Look for the previous posting to be re-posted on Friday with additional vital information.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

When It Rains It Pours....

We hope everyone is safe...and dry in spite of the torrential rains we have experienced these last 2 days, and we are hopeful that those who have suffered property damage will soon have their losses recovered.
We are also hopeful that stormwater drainage problems around the city, revealed again by this event, will be dealt with appropriately and quickly. After all, the city is already collecting quite a bit of money to do just that. With the recently imposed "Stormwater" fees, in addition to "drainage" fees we were already paying, and the always increasing "sewer" rates, there should be no excuses (other than "bad management") for continuing inadequate or poor drainage.
Of course, we also contend that after approximately $80 million has been poured into our sewage system, and a 90% increase in rates over the past 6 years, there should be no room for excuses when it comes to overflows and bypasses with as little as 2" of rain, yet both are still occurring. However, it does appear that the "excuses" are wearing a bit thin when it comes to the officials at the EPA since they are now requiring photographic proof of the problems being reported as the causes of such failures.
Apparently the EPA's dissatisfaction with New Albany's progress is high enough that the portion of sewer credits slated for release at the beginning of September were ultimately denied. That's right folks. The highly touted "plan" for earning the release of additional sewer credits has failed. Funny how this piece of news seems to have slipped under the local radar and has gone largely unnoticed, or at least un-mentioned. It remains to be seen how they intend to address the issue of potential economic development for the Downtown district without sewer credits. We are even more interested to hear how they plan to issue enough credits to support the Scribner Place project. Unless they've been holding credits in reserve, this new wrinkle could threaten the entire project.
Meanwhile, the City Council has given final approval to the next budget of $16.1 million which, interestingly, includes quite a few raises despite the many fiscal crisis' the city has faced recently. While we don't want to begrudge anyone a livable wage, a suggested 33% increase for one particular employee has been perceived as a bit excessive. We also find it rather obnoxious that some others are receiving a raise when they have done nothing with their work to warrant any such type of 'reward' (ie: a non-functional Building Commissioner). Then again, should we still be getting surprised by the audacity of this administration to put personal gain over the good of the community at large? The apparent answer is a resounding "NO". Indeed, we have almost come to expect it.
What else should we be expecting?
We would like to suggest that the least we should be expecting is some accountability from those who are supposed to be in charge (why do we pay T. Toran?), and perhaps a little honest effort expended towards reigning in some exorbitant costs, such as the outrageous cell phone costs incurred by the Parks Dept., which would go a long way towards regaining some of the public trust.
Apart from these two basic expectations from our City officials, we would like for you folks to tell us what you think.
Finally, we have just a couple of things we want to say regarding the new "arrangement" the city has made with the YMCA to finance the Scribner Place project. Namely, the decision to provide financing via the Redevelopment Commission. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to CM Steve Price for standing his ground on this one by casting a "NO" vote, as he was standing our ground as well.
THANKS STEVE!!! Your dedication to fiscal responsibility is appreciated and noted.
First, we find it extremely troubling that the city has embarked on a path that unites church and state rather than keeping with accepted practices of keeping the two very, very separate from one another. For those in our community who have alternate faith beliefs, this is nothing short of a slap in the face. Taxpayers should never be forced to contribute to a faith based organization, and that's exactly what this financing deal amounts to.
Secondly, the cost of this Scribner Place project places our city well beyond our constitutional debt limits, yet they have managed to take away any possibility of a remonstrance by the taxpayers who object to this force fed "investment" into the Downtown area.
The only thing that abates our frustration is the realization that these decisions have almost certainly sealed the fate of James Garner as a one-termer. He has displayed, over and over again, a blatant disregard for propriety and a complete lack of concern for the lower economic class of voters. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

CITY OF NEW ALBANY AUDIT RESULTS AND COMMENTS FOR 2005

BANK ACCOUNT RECONCILIATIONS

Record balances were not fully reconciled to depository balances during the audit period. Monthly reconciliation performed consisted of verifying source documents (quietuses and checks) to deposits and checks clearing depositories each month for each of the City's 18 (EIGHTEEN) bank accounts. However, these reconciled amounts were not totaled and compared to actual cash transactions and balances recorded in the City's records. As a result of undetected errors as of December 31, 2005, the City has $21, 511.00 more in unidentified cash recorded in its records than that being held in its bank accounts.

Indiana Code 5-13-6-1(e) states: "All local investment officers shall reconcile at least monthly the balance of public funds, as disclosed by the records of the local officers, with the balance statements provided by the respective depositories."

At all times, the manual and/or computerized records, subsidiary ledgers, control ledger, and reconciled bank balance should agree. If the reconciled bank balance is less than the subsidiary or control ledgers, then the responsible official or employee may be held personally responsible for the amount needed to balance the fund. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance Guides Manual for Cities and Towns, Chapter 7.)

It has been our policy to recommend only a minimum number of bank accounts in order to avoid unnecessary bookkeeping and possible errors in charging warrants to bank accounts. So long as an ordinance does not require the keeping of a separate bank account, funds should be consolidated into as few accounts as possible. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance guidelines Manual for Cities and Towns, Chapter 1.)

OVERDRAWN CASH BALANCES

The cash balances of the following funds were overdrawn in 2005:

FUND AMOUNT

General $ 743,906.00
Motor Vehicle Highway 472,504.00
Unsafe Building 56,155.00
Indiana Housing Board Rental Rehabilitation 14,776.00
Law Enforcement Continuing Education 633.00

The cash balance of any fund may not be reduced below zero. Routinely overdrawn funds could be an indicator of serious financial problems which should be investigated by the governmental unit. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance Guidelines Manual for Cities and Towns, Chapter 7.)

APPROPRIATIONS

The records presented for audit indicated the following expenditures in excess of budgeted appropriations:

FUND EXCESS AMOUNT EXPENDED

General $ 81,136.00
Motor Vehicle Highway 520,248.00
Reserve Liability Insurance 27,359.00
EMS 30,851.00
Walking Patrol (?????) 53,319.00
Park Cumulative Capital 11,930.00

TOTAL $724,843.00

Indiana Code 6-1.1-18-4 states in part: "...The proper officers of a political subdivision shall appropriate funds in such a manner that the expenditures for a year do not exceed its budget for that year as finally determined under this article."

TRANSFERS BETWEEN CITY FUNDS

As previously reported, a temporary transfer of $401,348.00 was made during December 2002 from the Economic Development Income Tax fund (EDIT) to the General Fund. In accordance with Indiana Code 36-8-4(b) the Common Council determined an emergency existed and extended the term of the loan for six months beyond the 2002 budget year. This loan was to be repaid no later than June 30, 2003. However, this loan has still not been repaid.

During 2005, the City transferred $114,892.00 from the Riverboat fund to the Drainage fund. Additionally, transfers in the amounts of $265,000.00 and $338,698.00 were made from the Economic Development Income Tax fund (EDIT) to the Ceasar's Donation fund and the Rainy Day fund, repectively.

The City approved resolutions authorizing the transfer of these funds with the intent that these were to be permanent transfers and not required to be returned. Transfers to depleted funds are allowed for cash flow purposes, however, these transfers must be returned to the other fund. The period may be extended for not more than six months beyond the budget year of the year in which the transfer occurred. EDIT and Riverboat funds may be used by a city for any lawful purpose for which money in any of its other funds may be used, i.e., permanent transfers to other funds are not allowed.

Indiana Code 36-1-8-4 concerning temporary transfer states in part:

"(a) The fiscal body of a political subdivision may, by ordinance or resolution, permit the temporary transfer of a prescribed amount, for a prescribed period, to a depleted fund in need of money for cash flow purposes from another fund of the political subdivision if all these conditions are met:...(3) Except as provided in subsection (b), the prescribed period must end during the budget year of the year in which the transfer occurs. (4) The amount transferred must be returned to the other fund at the end of the prescribed period..."

"(b) If the fiscal body of a political subdivision determines that an emergency exists that requires an extension of the prescribed period of a transfer under this section, the prescribed period may be extended for not more than six (6) months beyond the budget year of the year in which the transfer occurs if the fiscal body does the following: (1) Passes an ordinance or a resolution that contains the following: (A) A statement that the fiscal body has determined that an emergency exists. (B) A brief description of the grounds for the emergency. (C) The date the loan will be repaid that is not more than six (6) months beyond the budget year in which the transfer occurs. (2) immediately forwards the ordinance or resolution to the state board of accounts and the department of local government finance."

Indiana Code 6-3.5-7-13.1 states in part: "Economic development income tax funds (EDIT); deposits; uses, ...(3)By a county, city or town for any lawful purpose for which money in any of its other funds may be used.

Indiana Code 4-33-13-6 concerning Riverboat funds states in part: "...(3) may be used for any legal or corporate purpose of the unit, ..."

TRANSFER TO WASTEWATER UTILITY

The City transferred $270,000 from the Economic Development Income Tax Fund (EDIT) to the Wastewater Utility fund during 2005. There was no ordinance resolution authorizing this transfer. Additionally, the monies were not returned during the budget year 2005.

EDIT funds may be used by a city for any lawful purpose for which money in any of its other funds may be used, i.e., permanent transfers to other funds are not allowed.

Since the temporary loan provisions of IC 36-1-8-4 would not apply to funds of a municipally owned utility and there are no statutes authorizing or prohibiting loans from a city or town fund to a municipally owned utility, a home rule ordinance could be adopted authorizing such loans. Such ordinance should list the amount and term of the loan and interest rate, if interest is to be charged. (Cities and Towns Bulletin and Uniform Compliance Guidelines, December 2001)

Indiana Code 6-3.5-7-13.1 states in part: "Economic development income tax funds (EDIT); deposits; uses,...(3) By a county, city or town for any lawful purpose for which money in any of its others funds may be used...."

CAPITAL ASSET RECORDS

The City does not maintain sufficient detailed records of capital assets for the City owned capital assets, which also includes Wastewater Utility owned utility plan in service accounts. The City's capital asset ledger has not been updated to account for adjustments reported in these accounts during prior audits. A sewer expansion project was substantially completed during the current year, but not recorded., Deletions or disposals of capital assets were not recorded. In addition, inventories of capital assets were not taken by all departments so that capital assets on hand could be reconciled back to the capital asset ledger.

Every governmental unit should have a complete inventory of all capital assets owned which reflect their acquisition value. Such inventory should be recorded in the Capital Assets Ledger. A complete inventory should be taken every year for good internal control and for verifying account balances carried in the accounting records. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance Guidelines Manual for cities and Towns, Chapter 7).

CREDIT CARDS

During 2005, the following deficiencies were identified concerning the use of credit cards:

(1) The City was using credit cards to purchase items without an approved credit card policy.

(2) Some payments were being made on the basis of the statement or a credit card slip without supporting documentation.

(3) The City incurred, and subsequently paid, finance charges for delinquent payment of credit card invoices.

The State Board of Accounts will not take exception to the use of credit cards of a governmental unit provided the following criteria are observed:

(1) The governing board must authorize credit card use through an ordinance or resolution, which has been approved in the minutes.

(2) Issuance and use should be handled by an official or employee designated by the board.

(3) The purposes for which the credit card may be used must be specifically stated in the ordinance or resolution.

(4) When the purpose for which the credit card has been issued has been accomplished, the card should be returned to the custody of the responsible person.

(5) The designated responsible official or employee should maintain an accounting system or log which would include the names of individuals requesting usage of the cards, their position, estimated amounts to be charged, fund and account numbers to be charged, date the card is issued and returned, etc.

(6) Credit cards should not be used to bypass the accounting system. One reason that purchase orders are issued is to provide the fiscal office with the means to encumber and track appropriations to provide the governing board and other officials with timely and accurate accounting information and monitoring of the accounting system.

(7) Payment should not be made on the basis of a statement or a credit card slip only. Procedures for payments should be no different than for any other claim. Supporting documents such as paid bills and receipts must be available. Additionally, any interest or penalty incurred due to late filing or furnishing of documentation by an officer or employee should be the responsibility of that officer or employee.

(8) If properly authorized, an annual fee may be paid.

(Accounting and Uniform Compliance Guidelines Manual for Cities and Towns, Chapter 7)

SALES TAX

During the review of claims we noted that sales tax was paid on some purchases.

Governmental funds generally are exempt from the payment of sales tax on qualifying purchases. Respective tax agencies should always be contacted concerning tax exemptions and payments. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance Guidelines Manual for cities and Towns, Chapter 7)

TRAVEL CLAIMS

In one instance, an employee was reimbursed $90.00 for travel expenses without original receipts being attached to the claim.

Supporting documentation such as receipts, canceled checks, tickets, invoices, bills, contacts, and other public records must be available for audit to provide supporting information for the validity and accountability of monies disbursed. Payments without supporting documentation may be the personal obligation of the responsible official or employee. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance guidelines Manual for Cities and Towns, Chapter 7)

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

Six instances were noted where employees received payments during 2005 which were not transacted through the payroll system.

All compensation and benefits paid to officials and employees must be included in the labor contract, salary ordinance, resolution or salary schedule adopted by the governing body unless otherwise authorized by statute. Compensation should be made in a manner that will facilitate compliance with state and federal reporting requirements. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance guidelines annual for cities and Towns, Chapter 7)

TIME AND ATTENDANCE RECORDS

During the review of payroll records it was determined that bi-weekly payments were made to an employee even though time and attendance records were not maintained. Additionally, we noted that the corresponding payroll claims were certified by the responsible official attesting that they had examined the time records for this employee when in fact they had not been presented for their review. Upon inquiry, the employee subsequently presented time records with "estimated" hours worked during 2005.

Officials and employees are required to use State Board of Accounts prescribed or approved forms in the manner prescribed. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance guidelines Manual for cities and Towns, Chapter 7)

DEPARTMENT RECEIPT AND FEES

Receipts and fees collected by the departments listed below were remitted to the Controller less frequently than once a week:

Building Commissioner
City Clerk
Planning Commission

All collections made by any department or person connected with a city or town shall be turned in to the Clerk-Treasurer (or Controller) at least weekly. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance Guidelines Manual for Cities and Towns, Chapter 6)

DEPOSITS

Instances were noted where the Park and Recreation Department collections were deposited later than the next business day.

Indiana Code 5-13-6-1(d) states: "A city (other than a consolidated city) or a town shall deposit funds not later than the next business day following the receipt of the funds in depositories (1) selected by the city or town as provided in an ordinance adopted by the city or the town; and (2) approved as depositories of state funds."

RECEIPT ISSUANCE

In some instances, General Receipts (Form 352) were not issued by the following departments:

Building Commissioner
Cemetery

Officials and employees are required to use State Board of Accounts prescribed or approved forms in the manner prescribed. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance Guidelines for Cities and Towns, Chapter 7)

Receipts shall be issued and recorded at the time of the transaction; for example, when cash or a check is received, a receipt is to be immediately prepared and given to the person making payment. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance Guidelines Manual for Cities and Towns, Chapter 7)

BAD DEBTS AND UNCOLLECTABLE ACCOUNTS

The City has contracted with Medical Billing Group, LLC for the billings and collections of ambulance service runs. During the year 2005, Medical Billing Group, LLC wrote off $272,285.00 in delinquent accounts it deemed uncollectible. The minutes presented for audit did not indicate that these accounts were presented to the Board of Works for approval. Additionally, documentation was not presented for audit concerning unsuccessful collection procedures prior to adjustments to the records.

The governing body of a governmental unit should have a written policy concerning a procedure for the writing off of bad debts, uncollectible accounts receivable, or any adjustments to record balances.

Documentation should exist for all efforts made by the governmental unit to collect amounts owed prior to any write-offs.

Officials or employees authorizing, directing or executing write-offs or adjustments to records which are not documented or warranted may be held personally responsible. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance Guidelines Manual for Cities and Towns, Chapter 7.)

DELINQUENT WASTEWATER ACCOUNTS

As of December 31, 2005, delinquent wastewater fees and penalties total $563,538.00 had not been recorded with the County Recorder nor were they certified to the County Auditor which would result in a lien again the property.

Indiana Code 36-9-23-33 states in part:

"(b) Except as provided in subsection (I), the officer charged with the collection of fees and penalties assessed under this chapter shall enforce their payment. As often as the officer determines is necessary in a calendar year, the officer shall prepare either of the following:

(1) A list of the delinquent fees and penalties that are enforceable under this section, which must include the following:

(A) The name or names of the owner or owners of each lot or parcel of real property on which fees are delinquent.

(B) A description of the premises, as shown by the records of the county auditor.

(C) The amount of the delinquent fees, together with the penalty.

(2) An individual instrument for each lot or parcel of real property on which the fees are delinquent."

"(c) The officer shall record a copy of each list or each individual instrument with the county recorder..."

"(e) Using the lists and instruments prepared under subsection (b) and recorded under subsection (c), the officer shall, not later than ten (10) days after the list of each individual instrument is recorded under subsection (c), certify to the county auditor a list of the liens that remains unpaid for collection in the next May..."

SEWAGE DISPOSAL AND SANITATION CHARGES

The City has an ordinance (G-02-12) setting the rates to be charged for sewage disposal. We noted the following noncompliance:

Some customers that should be receiving a minimum bill for sewage disposal were not being billed.

The City has an ordinance (A-01-47) setting the rates to be charged for sanitation collections. We noted the following noncompliance:

1. Some commercial customers are being charged less than the approved commercial rates.

2. Some churches are being billed more than the approved rates established for the churches.

3. Some customers that are required to be billed for sanitation charges are not being billed.

Each governmental unit is responsible for complying with the ordinances, resolutions, and policies it adopts. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance Guidelines Manual for Cities and Towns, Chapter 7.)