Friday, 29 June 2012 01:24

AWA directors discuss their 2012-2013 budget amid criticism of projected revenues

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Amador County – Amador Water Agency board of directors on Thursday (June 28) discussed the upcoming fiscal year budget amid criticism from a group that questioned projected revenues based on participations fees.

The budget showed a $46,000 positive difference between operating revenues forecast at $14.18 million dollars and total operating expenses expected at $14.13 million dollars.

Members of the Ratepayer Protection Alliance presented a letter to the AWA board criticizing the budget use of participation fees, and members appeared to criticize a list of capital improvement projects. Alliance member Bill Condrashoff said it was basing spending on money that AWA does not have.

AWA General Manager Gene Mancebo said participation fees of $379,000 were part of a signed contract with Ione developers. He said agency staff identified contractual amounts for participation fees that were sufficient to cover the project list. Board Clerk Chris Thompson said the Sutter Creek bridge project was postponed a year, removing $78,000 from the project list. The $200,000 in projects included work at Amador City bridge, Bunker Hill bridge, Amador Waster System, and $17,000 for hydrants.

Condrashoff criticized spending budgeted on consultant work to study consolidation of Amador Water System, and creation of a Community Facilities District. He criticized use of funds he said were restricted, and said the agency should look back on 20 years of books to unwind internal loans.

Alliance member David Evitt asked if the agency budget report would note that the agency illegally used money from a restricted account. Mancebo said he believed the agency did not need to go look at what is in the current balance of funds. One man, a former CPA said the budget was not the same as trying to reconcile balance sheet accounts and “you just can’t stop your business because you think your balance sheet is incorrect.” But he doubted why the AWA would go 13 months without an outside audit.

President Gary Thomas asked if a new auditor was determined. Mancebo said AWA’s general manager typically signs that contract, and he had not singed an engagement letter with a new auditor because of the time of the year, and potential to be stuck without an auditor.

Controller Marvin Davis agreed, saying the current “auditor has been intricately involved up to now and it has taken a lot to get the auditor to where we are now.” Davis said: “I recommend against it.”

Director Rich Farrington said the board has already agreed it wants outside auditing to look at its system. He felt obligated to adopt the budget by July 1. He said it sounds like we may have spent more than $576,000, from participation fees, but staff says we have not.

Story by Jim Reece This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read 29044 times Last modified on Friday, 29 June 2012 02:09