Commission bows out of state's voluntary audit plan; opts for local

Friday, October 26, 2007

CHARLESTON -- Mississippi County will not participate in the state's voluntary audit program.

County Clerk Junior DeLay informed county commissioners during their Oct. 18 meeting that because the state auditor's office believes it is beneficial for third class counties to have a financial audit every two years, it will pay half the cost of audits at the two-year interval between the audits conducted by the state auditor's office every four years.

The state auditor's office will seek bids for these additional audits and award a statewide contract.

During their regular meeting Thursday, DeLay said he contacted the state auditor's office and was advised if the county agreed to participate in the state contracted audits, it could not then opt out if the county's half of the cost ended up being more than the county would pay to a local auditor.

Counties will not be allowed to opt out, DeLay said, "because when they put in the specs, they'll put in how many counties."

"I think we need to stay local," Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg said.

Commissioners agreed the statewide contract amount would probably be from a Kansas City or St. Louis firm that would charge a much higher amount than available locally.

The county's share of the single audit for 2006 was under $7,500, DeLay said.

"It could be risky going with the auditor's office," DeLay said.

Commissioners agreed they would like to have an audit every two years, however, even though it is not required.

In other business Thursday,

* Farmers have informed commissioners programming end guns on irrigation systems to not spray on county roads would be a problem.

Commissioner Homer Oliver said one farmer told him he "would be better off to buy the gravel."

Commissioner Martin Lucas explained electronic settings on the end guns are "not perfected" and tend to move from their settings after a short period of time.

Turning the end guns off completely would mean not irrigating the corners of their fields as "you've got a circle in a square."

* Commissioners signed a letter agreeing to meet the terms of a Rural Development grant to help fund the purchase of two vehicles for county law enforcement; approved a resolution accepting the grant; and signed the grant agreement.

The total project cost of $68,758 will fund the purchase of two SUVs equipped with traffic radar devices, video recorder cameras and emergency lights, sirens and speakers.

"So it will be two SUVs completely equipped," DeLay said.

The Rural Development grant will pay $51,568 and local matching funds will will cover the remaining $17,190.

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