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Springfield gets audit results
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Springfield City Council members got the results of their annual audit at last Tuesday’s meeting, along with approving a purchasing policy.

City Manager Brett Bennett also is expecting to hold a pre-construction meeting this week for Springfield’s streetscape project. Some of the power lines from the intersection of Laurel Street adjacent to City Hall have been moved.

“It should go pretty smoothly after that,” Bennett said.

Revenue from taxes were up, Donald Caines of Caines, Hodges, Pace and Corbitt accounting firm said in his review of the audit, but the amount the city collected from fines and forfeitures was down. The city took in $30,000 more in taxes in 2010 than in 2009 but its overall revenue declined by about $60,000. Fines and forfeitures were off by almost $50,000 from 2009 to 2010.

General fund expenditures also declined from 2009 to 2010, falling from $1.42 million to $1.3 million. The steepest drop came in city buildings, with the city spending $100,000 less in that category.

Overall, expenses in the governmental fund category were up $42,000 and special purpose local option sales tax expenses were up $161,000.

Caines also said there were no major concens. He did identify two weaknesses, one in utilities receivables and another in holding a check. Caines suggested reconciling utilities receivables monthly and said they consider for more than a day a long time.

“We had no difficulties in the audit,” Caines said. “There were no unusual accounting transactions that took place last year. We had no disagreements with management and there were no incidents of fraud.”

Council members also agreed to pay off the fire department’s E-One Typhoon truck purchased in 2005. The city has five years left on the contract at 3.8 percent interest, and a payoff would take $193,000. City Manager Brett Bennett said the early payoff would save the city $15,000 over the next five years.

But the city could be back at the dealers soon. Police Chief Paul Wynn said his department soon may need to start replacing vehicles in its fleet.

“I don’t want to get into the position where we’re having to buy two cars in one year,” he said. “But I’m afraid I’m going to have to.”