City Audit Gets High Marks

 

coaster-news-200-newBy JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI

Auditor David Kaplan gave Asbury Park good marks in his annual audit report saying this year’s total general fund balance is the highest ever at $4.7 million. In 2014 the fund balance was $3.4 million.
“You have complied,” he said. “ You have an unmodified report; that’s what you want.”
He also said there was a record surplus and record increases in revenues.
One section that did not receive good marks was the sewer collection totals.
“There has been a deficit the past two years,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan cited inaccuracies in the bills along with the billing in general.
He said the third quarter bills in 2015 from New Jersey American Water were not downloaded properly with only two months of usage billed instead of three.
The third month was then collected in 2016 and will be reflected in this year’s audit.
Kaplan reported that the city has Bond Anticipation Notes of $25.8 million with the percentage of debt at 1.602.
On a good note Kaplan said there are no deferred charges in the audit.
“You did not over expend your budget,” he said.
He also said property tax collection is the highest it’s been at 99.2 percent.
The audit does, however, include 13 recommendations and a corrective action plan to implement them.
Mayor John Moor said the city is getting old debts off the rolls and not adding new debts.
Moor said this year’s audit was the best of the past three years and Kaplan agreed.
City Manager Michael Capabianco said the billing issue was “an internal processing deficit, which he is working to improve.
In other business council approved plans for the renovations to the Fifth Avenue Pavilion and the rooftop bandshell. One of the conditions is that its name, the Arthur Pryor Bandshell, will remain.
During public comments Board of Education member Felicia Simmons questioned council about increasing affordable housing the city.
Mayor Moor said the city has reached out to the school board several times regarding housing grants that are available through boards of education.
“We sent it (grant information) four weeks ago,” Moor said.
Simmons said she would bring it to the board’s attention at the July 28 meeting.
Council also issued a proclamation to Gary White on behalf of Firbrodysplasia Ossicifcans Progressiv, or FOP, awareness. FOP is a rare disease in which a victim’s ligaments turn to bone.
White said he is trying to have FOP recognized by every mayor and council in the state to help fund research for a cure, especially because scientists found the gene responsible for the disease on April 23.

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