Hobson City completes third consecutive audit
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Oct 28, 2013 | 2746 views |  0 comments | 68 68 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBSON CITY – For three consecutive years, Hobson City has undergone a fiscal audit, making it eligible for many grants, said Mayor Alberta McCrory.

Annette Markham, of the accounting firm Joan Sanders and Associates, gave council members a presentation of the town’s 2012 financial audit during Monday’s meeting.

Prior to 2010, the town had not passed a budget or had a subsequent audit for two decades. Although municipalities are not required by state laws to pass budgets, McCrory explained that many grant applications do require proof of regular financial audits for a period of at least three years.

“We’re making progress,” McCrory said. “This has been a sore spot for this city for many years.”

The town’s net assets increased by $66,000 at the end of the 2012 fiscal year, ending at $628,028, largely due to increased grants and contributions, the report noted. The town’s general fund increased by $3,121 ending with $53,206 last year, auditors found.

Auditors did find two significant deficiencies. The report noted the town made mistakes in the way daily financial accounting information was recorded.

The audit found that as a result, auditors had to make changes to correct the town’s account balances.

Also noted in the report were problems with a lack of staff at Town Hall. One employee, the report says, “is responsible for opening mail, posting receipts to customer accounts, depositing funds into the bank, posting the deposit to the general ledger and entering adjustments to customer accounts.”

The report mentions that the cause of the problem is due to the town’s budget constraints, which make hiring additional employees difficult.

“All in all, I’d be very satisfied with the report,” Markham told the council.

After the audit’s presentation, Eric Stringer, president of the Hobson City Community and Economic Development Corporation, updated council members on his nonprofit’s renovation of J.R. Striplin Park.

Stringer told council members that workers and volunteers are building a pavilion at the park, and bathrooms will be installed in the coming months.

Stringer also discussed a recent trip that the nonprofit’s board members took to a housing development project in Opelika.

The group is planning such a project for Hobson City, Stringer said, where a number of homes would be built and made available to low- and middle-income residents. Homeowners would rent for a certain period of time, then have the ability to buy their homes, he said.

“I can’t tell you a whole lot more about that because it’s in the early stages, but it’s something that might happen,” Stringer said. “This could be a huge shot for Hobson City.”

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

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