By Kim West
Beginning Oct. 1, the accounting department for the Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority will be responsible for its own monthly audits.
The Authority’s board of directors voted 4-1 during Thursday’s meeting to process monthly reviews in-house, instead of paying an accounting firm for those services.
Board members Mike Hardaway, John Farrar, Johnny Hatchett and Board Chairman Jim Moffatt voted for the resolution.
Board member Ty Smith said he supported the resolution in principle but voted against it, saying he would prefer to make the change closer to the end of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
Smith said delaying the decision would have given the Authority’s administrative officials enough time to evaluate whether it could handle the extra duties.
Hatchett made the original motion, which goes into effect at the beginning of fiscal 2015. The resolution still allows LCWSA officials to consult with CDPA Inc. in Athens, which will continue to conduct the utility’s annual audit.
Hatchett said it was unnecessary to pay an outside source for “the scope of work” involved in reviewing the monthly finances, and said he believed the Authority could handle the extra work internally.
“I am hunting for the most effective way to run the Water and Sewer Authority,” Hatchett said.
Moffatt and LCWSA accountant Candace Powers said the Authority pays about $60,000 per year for the monthly audits through CDPA.
LCWSA General Manager Byron Cook said the utility already reviews its own finances on a monthly basis and will only need to make “tweaks” to compile the extra financial reviews.
Powers will be charged with using the next several months before the change goes into effect to become accustomed to the added duties.
CDPA accountant Cecil Armstrong presented the fiscal 2013 audit during Thursday’s 90-minute meeting.