Kingston budget adopted, audit accepted
by Matt Shinall
Jun 29, 2011 | 2175 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After failing to prepare and adopt a 2010 budget, the City of Kingston approved a late 2011 budget Monday at a special called meeting.

Also finding approval Monday was the city's 2010 audit presented by Lloyd Williamson of Williamson and Company CPAs. Flagged as a non-compliance issue in his report, Williamson addressed the need for a budget moments after its approval.

The 2011 budget puts revenue and expenditures down nearly $100,000 from the year before with revenue projected at $661,700 and expenditures at $635,485.

"We're still able to keep a reasonable amount of people employed and still come in projected slightly behind the budget. The last figures I've seen, and we're half-way through the year now, we're pretty much on target," said Dexter Jones, Kingston mayor.

In his review of city finances, Williamson noted a $64,000 deficit in the fund balance,. This number, however, does not take into account the water and sewer fund or the self-restricted rainy-day fund, both of which contained the amount needed to cover the difference. Williamson called this technicality a simple fix.

"All you would have to do is transfer $65,000 out of the water fund over into the general fund and your deficit is gone. It's an easy fix," Williamson said.

Compliance issues like the fund balance deficit and the budget, if left untreated, could lead to ramifications from the state including withholding Local Option Sales Tax revenues and inclusion on a no-grant list, however, Williamson added that these measures are rare and often just threatened.

Another costly concern brought forward in the 2010 audit was fixed-capital security, specifically the city fuel depot. The gate leading to city fuel tanks for vehicles and equipment is regularly left open and unlocked. An adequate logbook is also not kept resulting in nearly 4,000 gallons being unaccounted for in 2010.

The presentation also contained several suggestions referring to procedures and standards in the city office. An integrated payment and billing system was recommended to reduce human error and redundancies between accounts receivable and accounts payable. Also, a system of rotating job duties was suggested to increase complete office knowledge among staff to aid in checks and balances. A comment from years past, regarding segregation of duties, was concluded as improved upon since the addition of Capable Financial Solutions being contracted to help with accounting procedures.

The Kingston City Council will hold a work session Tuesday, July 5, at 7 p.m. at city hall, due to the July 4th holiday.