Aldermen receive unmodified opinion for last fiscal year

Published 7:00 am Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Poplarville Board of Aldermen discussed personnel changes, travel requests and the audit for the previous fiscal year during Tuesday’s meeting.

Paige Johnson and Jabe Mills of Topp McWhorter Harvey, PLLC presented the findings in the audit, saying that the city had a very solid audit year.

Mills thanked everyone on the Board – especially City Clerk Jane O’Neal – for their assistance in giving them everything they needed to conduct the audit. He said the city received an unmodified opinion, which is the best a city can receive. He said his staff did not identify any material weaknesses or significant deficiencies for the city of Poplarville.

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“The assets and deferred outflows of resources of the city exceeded its liabilities and deferred inflows of resources at Sept. 30, 2017 by $4.3 million” the report states.

The total net position went down by $17,446, the report states.  Governmental activities led to a net increase of $59,872 and business-type activities led to a net decrease of $77,318 – resulting in the total net position of $17,446.

The city’s governmental funds had a balance of $1.8 million, which was $435,186 more than the year before, the report states. According to the report, at the end of the year, the unassigned balance for government funds was $1.7 million – which can cover city expenditures for about six months.

Mills said there was one issue with the city’s inventory being incorrectly reported, which is being resolved. O’Neal said city staff are currently working on entering the inventory into a BBI software which will hopefully allow them to generate a report directly from that system.

After Mills’ presentation, the Board passed a motion to accept the audit as reported.

“They are one of the most professional, responsive audit firms I have ever worked with,” O’Neal said.

Authorization was given to Fire Chief Jonathan Head and firefighter Donnie D’Antonio to attend training at the Mississippi Fire Academy for Advanced Casualty Management training. Since the course is only for one day, discussion ensued regarding whether meals would be considered an authorized expense and be reimbursed. Previously, meals were not reimbursed for single day events. However, O’Neal said she reviewed the city’s policies, and there is room for the attendees to be reimbursed.

Alderman Tony Smith said since these meals had not been reimbursed over the past year, it would be unfair to start doing so now.

After some discussion, a motion was passed to authorize travel to the training event and to reimburse all authorized expenses – not including meals.

The Board once again discussed American Municipal Services’ offer to begin collecting debts owed to the city. O’Neal said there are electronic programs to automatically collect debt, but they are costly.

Alderman Kevin Tillman said that even if the city decides to move forward with American Municipal Services, there would be no contractual agreement and could be cancelled at any time.

Because AMS would collect debts at no cost to the city, the Board decided to move forward with the agreement. A motion was passed allowing the Board to engage AMS’s services to collect outstanding debts and to allow Mayor Rossie Creel to sign that agreement.

The Board made a motion to hold another budget workshop on July 25 beginning at 4 p.m. at the City Courthouse.

The next regular meeting of the Board will be Aug. 7 at 5 p.m. in City Hall.