Centertown rated well in State Auditor Nicole Galloway's resident-requested audit, which also made several recommendations to improve the Cole County village's fiscal procedures, utility system, Sunshine Law compliance and electronic data protection.
The report found the village was managed well by its four part-time employees and board of trustees.
Village Clerk Debra Baker said the issues listed in the audit already had been addressed and Centertown is moving forward in the right direction.
"Audits provide a path forward so that operations can be improved and restore taxpayers' confidence in their local government," Galloway said in a news release. "It appears Centertown officials are doing just that by working to comprehensively address our findings and implement the recommendations."
The audit focused on the fiscal year that ended May 31, 2017, when Centertown failed to provide a budget, perform bank reconciliations and publish lawfully required financial statements. These issues were addressed the next year. Pay rates for all employees were formally approved, and employees were required to begin submitting time sheets for approval.
The audit also indicated $100 refundable security deposits were neither properly tracked nor accurately accounted. Small late fees levied on 26 customers were incorrectly doubled to about $5, which will be credited on future bills. Penalties were incorrectly assessed twice in one month for three of 60 delinquent water accounts.
Minutes for five board meetings that took place from Sept. 6, 2016, to April 25, 2017, were not prepared as required by a freedom of information mandate in Missouri's Sunshine Law. The board also did not indicate it would go into closed session on the May 2017 meeting agenda. Discussions in three closed meetings were found to be unlawful because the closures were not previously disclosed to the public. The meetings addressed position descriptions, election of the chairman and pro-tem, the sewer system, the water tower, bank signature card changes, insurance services, road work, the need for a village clerk, notes to be added to the water bill and the resignation letters of board members.
The audit found data backups were not stored at an off-site location and officials were not periodically testing backup records. A second data collection was created and stored off-site in case there is a computer failure at Village Hall.