Tuesday, May 15, 2012
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ALBANY City officials have discovered that a telecommunications company wasn't billed for fees owed the city for more than seven years.
City officials told the commission Tuesday that Alltel Communications has been subject to right-of-way fees for years, and has paid most of them.
But, according to Finance Director Kris Newton, her predecessor stopped collecting them from the company in 2005 for an unknown reason.
(City Treasury Manager) Ava's (O'Neal) is reviewing and updating the revenue manual so that she can make sure we're not missing anyone else. At some point back in 2005 the treasury manager stopped billing. It just got lost and no one remembered," Newton said.
Newton became finance director in 2007.
Alltel's lines, which were subsequently sold to Verizon who is now in talks with Windstream, are buried or posted in the city right-of-way, which means they pay about a dollar per linear foot to the city each year.
O'Neal noticed, after reviewing records going back to 2005, that they hadn't paid.
"I received a call from Windstream in reference to checking on the payment that needed to be made on that account, so I had to do some background information on the payment," O'Neal said. "When I started researching, based on the old agreement, I saw the last payment we received was in 2004."
Finance officials did the math and realized that Alltel still owed more than $134,000 to the city.