By Gene Mim Mack, Mayor of Stevensville
You may have seen the notice from the State of Montana (posted in a recent issue of the Bitterroot Star) which referenced the due date for the Town of Stevensville’s audit. This notice is required to be posted by State law and it only tells part of the story.
After being appointed Mayor in September 2011, I initiated a thorough review of the Town’s financial position. The result was an uncomfortable realization that the financial reporting to the State was seriously overdue, due to incomplete and inaccurate bookkeeping that had accumulated over many years. With Council support I hired an experienced Treasurer and we got to work to fix these inadequacies.
The Town had not filed its annual financial report for two years and had not conducted the State mandated annual audit since fiscal year 2008-2009 (year ending June 30, 2009). To remedy this, the Town hired new auditors. The Town also sought the help of the State of Montana Local Government Services Bureau and together we began the task of correcting the accounting inaccuracies and filing the long-overdue reports.
After many 50-hour work weeks involving every department of the Town, I am pleased to report we are nearly there.
1. The past due annual financial reports for fiscal year 10-11 and fiscal year 11-12 have been filed and accepted as accurate by the State of Montana.
2. Three years of accounting records necessary to complete the past due audits for fiscal years 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 have been compiled and forwarded to the auditors who are hard at work completing the State mandated audits. The State of Montana is aware of our efforts, but is still required to post the legal notice in the Town’s paper of record until they receive the reports.
3. The Town is completing its fiscal year 2013-2014 budget and we are on solid financial ground.
• We are carrying adequate cash reserves of $350,000 in the general fund and solid reserves in the Town’s water and sewer funds.
• We have $360,000 in our capital improvement fund and the Council has adopted a five-year plan for the responsible use of this money.
I encourage you to attend a meeting of the town council, or address any questions you may have about the Town to me or to the excellent staff at Town Hall.