Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

June 23, 2014

Elliott County has answers to comments about audit

State auditor’s office also weighs in

Sandy Hook — Files have revealed conflicting instructions for the Elliott County Fiscal Court in handling funds after the most recent audit from State Auditor Adam Edelen’s office and authorization of the county’s budget by the Department of Local Government collided.

Elliott County Fiscal Court Treasurer Heather Stevens provided The Independent with evidence that the court acted in what they thought was an appropriate manner by paying the road patrol salary for the deputy sheriff out of the Road Fund after the DLG approved the budget move.

She explained that after the public pushed to create a deputy sheriff position, the court went to the DLG to ask how to pay the additional salary.

She showed The Independent on Monday the signature of State Local Finance Officer Robert O. Brown on May 15, 2012, that sealed the department’s approval of using money from the general road fund to pay the road patrol salary.

She said the court was also instructed to appropriate money in this way by a manual provided by the DLG.

The header on page 30 of the manual regards the methods of administrative cost allocation to the road fund. Below, it states under Method I, 1.(b), that patrolling for county roads by the sheriff and county police office can be paid 100 percent by the road fund.

As she understood it, she was not doing anything that was not already approved by the DLG.

Yet, in the audit released last week, the first comment stated this act was a “misuse of restricted fund monies.”

“What are we supposed to do when one office tells us to do it this way and the other says it’s wrong?” Stevens asked.

The Independent contacted Edelen’s office Monday to further interpret what misunderstandings may have happened with the state offices and county officials regarding this audit.

Answers are as follows:

Two methods are shown for allocating funds from the road fund into the general fund.

Stevens told The Independent the court utilized Method I. But the auditor’s office said the county used Method II.

“Under this method they transferred $187,107 of road funds to the general fund and could not transfer anymore, since it is limited to truck distribution receipts,” the office said in an email. “They cannot do both methods. As noted from the DLG manual, they have to choose one method.”

Documentation of any appropriation of road fund dollars for administrative costs can be done using one of two methods.

For one, the county can use time sheets completed by the “affected personnel,” or in this case the person receiving the road patrol salary, that also documents material and supply costs.

A second option is to document the percentage of road fund to the total operating budget as applied to allowable line-item categories. This requires preparation and submission of a road cost allocation worksheet.

Stevens and Judge-Executive Carl Fannin said they understand the other comments made during the audit and have already put in place plans for improvement.

The total of road fund dollars appropriated must not exceed budgeted truck license distribution receipts.

When asked if this was a miscommunication between the state auditor’s office and the DLG, a spokeswoman for the auditor’s office ,Stephenie Hoelscher, said, “I wouldn’t say this is a miscommunication between our offices as much as it may just be a misinterpretation by county officials.”

Some of the comments regarding budget deficits show both problems and improvements for the county previously listed by the state as “critical” three years ago.

According to Stevens and Fannin, the county had a $2.3 million debt in 2011, now it is $1.1 million.

When asked how the court was able to pay off $1 million of debt, Fannin said, “Because I take care of the money, I don’t waste it.”

The record also reflects that auditor comments have decreased significantly the past few years, from 23 in 2011 to six in 2013.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653. For Twitter updates, follow @lanabellamy_DI.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • News in brief, 07/24/14

    A Fleming County man was arrested on sex charges Tuesday by the Kentucky State Police.

    July 23, 2014

  • Boyd/Greenup backpack program turns 10

    For 10 years, the Ashland Alliance Young Professionals Association has been helping children start their school year off right.

    July 23, 2014

  • Area water plants recognized

    Water treatment plants across the state were recognized for consistently producing drinking water in 2013 that exceeded state and federal water quality standards, including the Rattlesnake Ridge Water District in Olive Hill and six others.

    July 23, 2014

  • City gives wastewater treatment plant operations to Greenup agency

    During joint special meetings of the Greenup Joint Sewer Agency and the Wurtland city commission on Tuesday, Wurtland agreed to hand over operations of its wastewater treatment plant to the agency.
    Pending the signing and approval of certain legal documents, plant operations will officially be under the GJSA on Aug. 1.

    July 23, 2014

  • Edelen studies fiscal health of rural hospitals

    On the fourth stop of his listening tour to address the fiscal health of rural hospitals, Adam Edelen said the crowd in Morehead was the largest he has seen yet.
    The big attendance attests to how seriously the region regards the issue of sustainability of local hospitals, he said.

    July 23, 2014

  • Putnam renovations ‘coming together’ as football season approaches

    Locker rooms are beginning to take shape at Putnam Stadium as rebuilding of the venerable arena nears completion.
    Workers are readying concrete forms on the home side and grading the site on the visitors’ side and soon will erect the structures, the goal to have them ready to use for the first home game of the 2014 season Aug. 22.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huntington man wanted for armed robbery

    The Ashland Police Department is searching for an 18-year-old Huntington man who was involved in an armed robbery last month.

    July 23, 2014

  • Detroit man arrested near Fairview

    A Detroit man was arrested Wednesday after an undercover drug buy near Fairview High School, the Boyd County Sheriff's Department reported.

    July 23, 2014

  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Construction at Kentucky football stadium to go on

    The $110 million construction project at the University of Kentucky’s Commonwealth Stadium will continue through the upcoming football season with the goal of finishing renovations before the 2015 kickoff.

    July 23, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone