KAYSVILLE — The Federal government’s finances may be a mess, but Kaysville City has promised to be more careful with theirs.
City officials say they intend to implement the suggestions highlighted by the state auditor’s office after a recent audit of the city’s accounting practices. In a letter to the city, Utah State Auditor John Dougall said that the audit was conducted in response to accusations made to the office’s hotline. Though those accusations remained unsubstantiated, there were several points where the auditors thought the city could improve.
“The minute you go into any situation assuming you do things perfectly, you’ll get yourself in trouble,” said Kaysville City Mayor Steve Hiatt. “I think the fact that the accusations were unsubstantiated is a sign that Kaysville is well-managed, but even the most well-managed city has areas where they can do better.”
Kaysville City Manager John Thacker agreed.
“We’re glad to have added guidance on how to operate,” he said.
The two most significant areas where the auditor’s office cited a need for improvement was in relation to the city’s electrical fund. The auditor recommended that the city be more thorough in notifying rate users when the fund was used for things other than the city’s electrical needs, and that the purchase of property by electrical fund money required notification.
“We already notified people by sending postcards out,” said Thacker. “We’ll just expand that to include whatever we use power funds for.”
They also said that city departments needed to be charged for utility services. Kaysville does not currently do so, which the auditor’s office considers to be a non-cash transfer.
“We were told we shouldn’t use power funds to pay for street lighting,” said Thacker. “It should be an interesting situation as we budget.”
The city’s electrical fund was also the topic of debate earlier this year, when residents protested a planned transfer of money from the city’s electrical fund to the city’s general fund. Still, city officials consider the situations to be completely unrelated.
“They weren’t so critical of the use of electrical funds,” said Hiatt. “They just wanted to make sure we were giving people proper notice.”
Other areas the audit pointed out were an unclear purchasing policy, an inconsistent bid solicitation that city officials say was an isolated incident, and certain city departments exceeding their budget. The auditor’s office acknowledged, however, that the city never exceeded its general budget.