Fiscal Court accepts audit

Published 8:41 am Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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The Harlan County Fiscal Court accepted the annual audit report from Kentucky Auditor Allison Ball during the panel’s recent meeting for May.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley advised the magistrates of the results of the audit.

“It’s another great audit,” Mosley said. “I want to say I appreciate the treasurer, the department heads who worked diligently to follow the processes. I felt like it was another stellar audit.”

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Mosley stated the auditor’s report contains one issue which is mentioned regularly.

“There’s some copy and pasting that goes on related to previous audits anytime we disagree on how water district’s handle garbage collection,” Mosley said. “We all agree to disagree on certain things from time to time. Overall, it was a good audit and I appreciate everybody’s diligence making sure that we do business the right way and that we follow processes and the law the right way.”

According to a news release from the Kentucky State Auditor’s Office, the Harlan County Fiscal Court’s financial statement was fairly presented and conformed to the regulatory basis of accounting, which is an acceptable reporting method.

The release mentions only one finding.

“The Harlan County Fiscal Court does not have sufficient internal controls over waste removal collections: The Harlan County Fiscal Court did not have the following controls in place for fiscal year 2023: (1) did not have written agreements with districts for garbage collections, (2) did not receive delinquent lists for all outstanding collections, and (3) did not receive sufficient documentation of garbage fees collected by all utility districts,” states the audit.

Mosley provided a written response, which was included in the auditor’s release.

“From January 2015 through June 30, 2023, over $11 million has been paid to the fiscal court for garbage service. From the reports that we receive from the districts, this places the county at over a 90% collection rate. We realize we can’t truly calculate the collection rate with the information we receive, but we believe this to be in line with other collection services and consider it to be a good collection rate and a tremendous improvement from several years ago when it was below 50%. The court has worked with the County Attorney and the districts to prepare a written agreement and enter into a contract with all districts for garbage collection. Some districts have signed and returned the agreement, while some have not. The court has also been working with the County’s District Court in resolving delinquent matters and have been successful in the cases that have been presented to date,” reads Mosley’s response.

Mosley asked the magistrates for a motion to accept the audit.

Magistrate James Howard made a motion to accept the report of the audit of the Harlan County Fiscal Court for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023 and was seconded by Magistrate Paul Browning. The motion passed unanimously.

Harlan County Magistrate Paul Browning considers the results of the Kentucky State Auditor’s audit of the Harlan County Fiscal Court during a recent meeting (Photo by Joe Asher)