By Ginger Jarvis
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Auditor Mack Waters presented two glowing reports to the Madison City Commissioners at their regular meeting on January 11. Both reports pertained to city finances in the fiscal year ending on September 20, 2010.
In the first report, Waters said, “The city does have assets, which is a good thing.” He added, “Compared to 2009, net assets did decrease.“ He said that water and sewage revenue was down about $100,000 and expenses were up due to some costly repairs.
“The city is in good financial condition,“ he said. He commended City Clerk Lee Anne Hall and the city staff for doing a good job with the records.
In the second report, he said he found no problems with compliance to requirements and rules. Both reports were unqualified, meaning he found no uncertainties in the records.
The commissioners unanimously approved acceptance of the audit.
In a related matter, Waters informed the board that the owner of the business which had provided software and support for the town’s computer system recently drowned while participating in a triathlon. “You do not have anybody to support your system because it is customized for you,” he stated. “It is important for you to do something.”
Waters recommended United Systems Technology, Inc., who can build a system according to the city’s wishes for about $3,000. Their license and annual support is proposed at just over $6,000. Other companies that he has checked would ask $40,000-60,000 for the same work.
In response to questions from commissioners, Waters said that United would provide eight hours of free training for city employees and that other customers are very happy with their work.
Mayor Judy Townsend asked City Manager Harold Emrich, “Can we find the money?”
He replied, “We shall.”
When Commissioner Jim Catron asked about bid requirements, Emrich said that the city could hire United through an emergency override.
The commissioners unanimously approved Catron’s motion to hire United to build and support the system.
In other business, the board tabled discussion and action on changes in three ordinances related to purchase, installation, and maintenance of backflow-prevention devices within the city. Emrich said that several local plumbers had requested a delay until they could meet with him and discuss the situation. (Prices for backflow preventers run from $316.48 to $803.08, depending on size. These prices include parts and labor.).
The ordinances will be on the agenda for the regular meeting on Tuesday, February 8.