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Interim city manager asks Hiram council not to require audit to compile budget
by Savannah Weeks
sweeks@neighbornewspapers.com
June 06, 2012 04:13 PM | 1106 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Interim City Manager Billy Beckett Tuesday asked Hiram council members to change the wording of an April 16 motion which stated no budget decisions could be made until an audit was performed.

The “audit” some council members thought they would be receiving from the Crace Galvis McGrath accounting firm was actually a financial compilation and not in-depth enough to be considered an audit, according to Beckett.

Beckett, who started work June 4, asked the council to allow him to begin working on decisions and processes associated with the fiscal year 2012-2013 and 2011-2012 budgets without further delay.

“You couldn’t get an audit done that fast even if that is what they had agreed to,” said Beckett after the meeting. “We’ve got to have the budget.”

Beckett said “in a perfect world,” the council would already be working on the 2012-2013 budget, since the fiscal year begins July 1.

The financial compilation per-formed by Tammy Galvis shows the city had a deficit of more than $110,000 at the end of March 2012.

Beckett suggested council members discuss further review of the 2010-2011 budget, which included $1.4 million reserved for capital projects, at the next work session.

A total of $900,000 of that money is accounted for, according to City Clerk Cynthia Geyer, and was used for city hall renovations and the acquisition of property and buildings.

The remaining balance of $500,000 was left in the account and spent on operating costs over time, but exactly what it was spent on is undetermined at this time.

“We want to make sure we know what happened,” said Councilwoman Teresa Philyaw. “Of that million and a half, about $450,000 went to our renovation. We also had the burden of [Georgia Crime Information Center] that the county put on us, so we can look at about $900,000 of that million and a half. The remaining money, it does appear, was put into our general fund and doled out a little at a time.”

GCIC maintains Georgia’s com-puterized criminal history database that includes the fingerprint and criminal history records of Georgia residents. Employees at Hiram send information on crime activity within the city to GCIC to be stored in a database, allowing a network for Georgia law enforcement agen-cies.

The GCIC for Hiram was previ-ously handled by the county. In 2010, Hiram had to assume respon-sibility for this team.

The city hired five full-time em-ployees, as well as bought com-puters and software for the pro-gram. Philyaw suggested some of the remaining funds for capital projects went to this program.

Philyaw said that even though it is likely the city will have a $300,000 deficit at the end of this fiscal year, the city has increased its revenue and will have the means to correct the budget next year.

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