The City of Monticello has received the results of a report from the Utah State Auditor related to city financial records.
The report includes eight separate findings and recommendations related to financial matters in the city. City manager Myron Lee told the City Council at a April 23 meeting, “We are in the process, as a City, of implementing every recommendation from the auditors department and will continue to do so, in order to make the City’s financial practices sound.”
Lee presented five graphs showing the status of Public Treasures Investment Funds (PTIF) for the city. He said there is reason for concern, specifically in the Road C Trust Fund. Lee said that the fund had a $800,000 balance in 2001 and currently has a balance of $5,000.
Lee said that the City is facing a financial challenge and added that it would take a concerted effort by the city staff and residents to alleviate the situation.
Lee said, “It has become very evident that over the next several months and years, we will need to recover some of those investment funds.”
Based upon the invitation of the City of Monticello, State Auditor Auston Johnson sent an audit team to Monticello in January to check on the financial health and practices of the city for the years of 2002 through 2007.
At the time of the audit, City Manager Trent Schafer had been placed on paid administrative leave. He has subsequentally been replaced by Lee.
Investigators found no indication of criminal activity, but they added that there were “numerous indications of mismanagement and/or misappropriation.”
The team classified the eight findings as a “significant weakness” and encouraged the city to aggressively follow the recommendations. Johnson writes, “If these weaknesses are left uncorrected, an unacceptable amount of errors or misappropriations could occur without detection.”
The report found that the city was experiencing severe cash flow problems and had not adequately tracked expenditures on several federal projects that were reimburseable by the Federal Government.
The findings and recommendations suggested that the city develop written fiscal policies and procedures, implement a system to separate financial duties, account for all checks listed, clear oustanding checks that have been voided, independently reconcile bank accounts, and properly use investment accounts.
Lee told the council that the city is already working on several of the recommendations they have received. Mayor Doug Allen told the council that he has requested that the council receive the PTIF report at every council meeting, in order to track the progress of the City.
Click here to view full audit report