Thursday, October 22, 2015

BEAVER ISLAND: Rehmann audit results of St. James sewer fund

The murky St. James Township sewer fund record-keeping mess became clearer this week as investigation details were released to the public.
An independent audit of the Beaver Island municipality’s financial records reveals numerous questionable accounting practices, a lack of transaction records, over $130,000 in sewer fees not billed or uncollected from users, moneys moved from fund to fund without board approval, apparent confusion on assignment of duties, and using small business bookkeeping software to operate a governmental entity … among other issues.

“Clearly, the trend of the sewer fund is to continue borrowing from other funds to pay for operations and to provide funds for bond and interest payments,” wrote Stephen M. Peacock of the financial auditing company Rehmann Group, which has an office in Traverse City. “This practice is contrary to normal accounting practice and the legality of such transfers, without board approval, may be problematic to the board and the citizens of St. James Township.”

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