WATERLOO — Material weaknesses uncovered in an independent audit of Seneca County’s 2017 finances have been identified and addressed.

Now, it’s time to tackle the 2018 audit, Randy Shepard of The Bonadio Group told the Seneca County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

“We now are working to identify a game plan for the 2018 audit,” Shepard said. “We hope to have that done by the end of the year so we can start working on the 2018 figures and make corrections.”

Bonadio has been working with new county Finance Director Halle Stevens and Deputy Director Tina Marie Beckman to correct the problems unearthed in the 2017 audit.

Among the material weaknesses identified:

• The capital assets of the airport, water and sewer funds were understated by $448,000, $225,000 and $3.48 million, respectively. Governmental activities were understated by about $3.1 million.

Bonadio recommended the county implement a year-end review of significant capital outlays to ensure that the capital asset records of the government activities and proprietary funds are complete.

• The county’s opening fund balances in the general fund and capital projects fund were overstated by $372,000 and $1.26 million, respectively.

Bonadio recommended the county adjust and ensure that transactions are not posted directly to fund balance positions.

• County officials showed an inability to produce a complete set of financial statements and Schedule of Expenditure of Federal Awards in 2017, resulting in significant financial misstatements.

Bonadio said the county needs to staff the Finance Department with personnel that have the ability to assist in preparing or can completely prepare, the financial statements and SEFA.

• One of the county’s primary bank accounts and several additional general ledger accounts weren’t reconciled on a timely basis throughout the year. This caused a delay in the issuance of the county’s financial statements and Uniform Grant Guidance Audit that were due by Sept. 30, 2018.

The recommendation is that the Finance Department ensure the necessary closing procedures are in place so the county meets all of its filing obligations. Stevens will head that effort.

In other matters Tuesday:

SUGGESTION — Waterloo resident Brian Preston suggested a 20 percent value-added tax be added to each ton of solid waste brought from outside Seneca County to be deposited at Seneca Meadows Landfill. Preston said that would generate $62,500 a day, or $16.2 million annually, money the county could put into a dedicated infrastructure fund for roads, bridges, water and sewer — “paid for by those who have the luxury to send their trash to our home for deposit.”

BUDGET — Interim County Manager Mitch Rowe gave a presentation on his preliminary 2019 county budget, which will be subject to a public hearing and could be adopted Dec. 11. The budget shows a 2.6 percent increase in appropriations, from $77.2 to $79.2 million; the same tax levy as this year, $9.8 million; a 3.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue; and a stable tax rate of $4.42 per $1,000 of assessed value.

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