December audit by Auditor Galloway gave a rating of 'poor' and found many weaknesses in utility operations, budgeting, financial condition, payroll
JEFFERSON CITY — A follow-up review of the city of Seymour by State Auditor Nicole Galloway determined that while some progress has been made to correct operational problems, recommendations to address other problems have only been partially implemented or not implemented at all. The review follows a citizen-requested audit released in December 2018 that found numerous weaknesses in the city's operations and financial condition.
The 2018 audit found that transfers from the city's utility funds heavily subsidized the city's general fund. The audit recommended that the Board of Aldermen determine the value of government services being offset by transfers from the utility funds. While that step has not been taken, the Board has moved forward with formal reviews of water and electric rates to ensure that revenues are sufficient to cover costs.
The Board has begun immediate and long-term planning to improve the financial condition of various city funds. However, the Board continues to rely on utility transfers to subsidize the General Fund, and budget planning to prevent approval of deficit budgets is still inadequate.
The Board also has partially implemented a recommendation to reconcile customer utility deposits to accounting records, and has taken steps to ensure all sewer charges are assessed and paid. After it had been determined that the City Administrator granted reduced utility charges or waived the charges as economic incentives without approval, the Board passed ordinances eliminating any exemptions or preferential treatment for nonprofit entities. The Board also has implemented a recommendation to ensure all non-monetary adjustments to utility accounts are properly approved.
The Board has not taken action to ensure that monthly reconciliations of amounts billed to amounts collected and delinquent accounts are performed, nor has it taken necessary steps to determine electric and water losses.
Of the 24 recommendations to address the concerns contained in the 2018 audit, the follow-up review found that eight had been implemented; four were in progress, meaning that the city has specific plans to begin, or has begun to implement them and intends to fully implement them; six were partially implemented, but the city is not making efforts to fully implement them; and six were not implemented, with no plans to do so.