Morenci city council 1.16

Written by David Green.

There’s a lot to like in the City of Morenci’s financial picture, said auditor Philip Rubley, but for the third year in a row there’s a deficit in the general fund.

“That’s the bad news of the night,” Rubley said before giving positive reports on other aspects of the city budget.

“You reduced the budget by about $18,000 in the last two years,” he said, “so you’re headed in the right direction.”

Rubley’s audit for the year ending June 30, 2007, found a deficit of $32,776. The city will be required to submit a deficit reduction plan to the state.

Council member Keith Pennington hinted that the situation has improved in the past six months.

“This report is for our fiscal year,” he said. “It does not account for anything we’ve done since June 30.”

The deficit reduction plan should make note of changes since that time, Rubley said.

Rubley noted that 28 percent of the city’s revenue comes from state funds—a figure that varies with the economy.

“I would anticipate that number to go down,” he said. “With costs soaring and revenue decreasing, you’re going to have to really watch it carefully. These are tough times, very tough.”

Rubley was pleased with the condition of the two street funds, particularly the local street fund, the utilities fund and the internal service fund (DPW).

“All of them are in pretty good shape except the general fund,” he said. “That’s the hardest one to get revenue into.”

Rubley gave the city an “unqualified opinion,” the highest rating possible for accounting practices.

He gave council a list of nine comments for consideration, none of which were listed as significant deficiencies. One significant problem is labeled as segregation of duties.

He explained this by saying that no single individual should have control over two or more phases of a financial transaction or operation. Because of the layoff of Suzette Burk last May, the separation of duties between clerk and treasurer no longer exists.

“I’m not saying there’s a problem,” Rubley said. “There’s a potential for a problem. You’ll have to take a closer look at checks and balances.”

He added that he thinks controls are in place to avoid “material problems.”

 

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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