Audit suggests changes in Leesburg’s Finance Department

Leesburg also buys telemetry equipment to monitor its utility system

LEESBURG — Auditors for the city of Leesburg, while emphasizing that no wrongdoing has occurred, say the city should take steps to segregate some duties within its Finance Department.

Auditor Craig Moye with Mauldin & Jenkins CPA presented a preliminary report on the city’s audit Tuesday night at the Leesburg City Council’s monthly meeting.

The report was favorable overall, but Moye says internal controls are needed in the finance department, a problem not that unusual for small city governments with limited staff. The situation should be improved, Moye said, with the addition of City Manager Bob Alexander to the city staff.

Alexander’s presence allows the city to have additional controls on the city’s finances.

“Many small government don’t have enough people to meet the auditor’s criteria,” said Alexander. “Since I’ve been brought on, we have two people sign checks, when before there was one person. We’re trying to put safety measures in place where two people — at least two people — review everything we do.”

Moye said the duties of recording, distributing and reconciling accounts should be segregated between employees.

Moye said the city’s general fund balance at the end of the fiscal year June 30 was $477,834. “Fund balance does not necessarily equal cash on hand and available to spend,” he said.

The city incurs expenses of about $165,000 per month to meet its expenses, Moye said. The fund balance helps the city operate until the city receives its property tax receipts, which typically are paid in November and December.

Moye said the Leesburg’s Water and Sewer Fund generates sufficient revenue to cover the cost of operations.

The council also voted to spend $19,800 to add a telemetry system for its well, water towers and life stations. The system would notify key city staffers when there is a problem at one of the city’s eight lift stations. Currently, the only alarm system is a flashing light, which is ineffective unless a employee is on duty.

City Council members also approved a resolution to seek a $15,000 Gateway grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation for landscaping in downtown Leesburg, particularly at U.S. Highway 19 and Fourth Street.