City RDA takes steps for audit

The City of Warren Redevelopment Authority took steps to ensure an audit is performed this year.

Authority members were informed at their meeting Thursday morning that the firm that has been performing audits for the city, Kersey and Associates, has sent a letter to the city indicating it does not want to continue serving as auditor.

According to City Administrator Mary Ann Nau, Kersey cited changing audit regulations and requirements for the move.

Discussion on how the authority wanted to go about obtaining a new firm to perform an audit led to questions about when the authority last had an audit. Nau said Kersey had not performed one since 2007.

There was discussion that information had been forwarded to Kersey and Associates for one last year, but that further information was requested in order to complete it.

The city is currently requesting quotes for an audit from a number of firms.

Authority members approved approaching whatever firm the city chooses about doing an audit.

Authority Chairman Chuck Hayes asked if city council was expecting a budget request from the authority.

“Shouldn’t they be getting a budget request from us?” he asked, noting there was concern from council last year when it didn’t receive a request. “Do they want something?”

“I got the impression they felt you had funds to work with,” City Planner David Hildebrandt said.

“I thought we needed to know… what projects we had coming in,” authority member Tricia Durbin said.

City Manager Nancy Freenock explained council was not asked to allot money to the authority, as there is funding currently available to it.

Hildebrandt apprised authority members on the amount of funding available, figures that seemed to surprise some members.

According to Hildebrandt, the authority has approximately $26,000 in its accounts and additional funding from revolving loan and development funds of approximately $283,000. Additionally, the city is bringing in approximately $5,300 per month in revolving loan payments.

“We’d like to see some of that used,” Freenock said. “We’d like to see some projects.”

The available funds are not exclusively for use of the authority, but can be used for redevelopment purposes. The funds are also available for projects through the city’s other development-related committees and the city has some projects it would like to see done jointly.

Durbin requested the city provide a treasurer’s report for the next meeting, “So we can kind of see where these funds are.”

Nau reported that issues at a property at 117 Beaty Street look as if they will not require city action.

“It looks as though it’s going to resolve itself without any intervention,” she said.

Freenock clarified, saying, “There is a prospective buyer who intends to raze the building.”

Authority members approved bills including charges from the city for lawn mowing at authority properties, reimbursement to the city for payment of an insurance policy and payment on a general liability insurance policy.