Auditor: Baldwin in financial trouble

Posted at 11:10 AM, Apr 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-16 12:10:42-04

The annual audit of Baldwin found myriad problems with the town’s financial operations, and the auditor has said he’s worried about whether the town can keep operating. 

The audit, released Monday by the state Legislative Auditor, was the regular audit done every year by an CPA firm hired by the town. You can read it for yourself below.

The audit found financial failings in the city’s regular and utility operations; it found the town has no policies or procedures for budgeting, purchasing or spending. There were 23 pages of findings in the audit, and some were findings from years before. The auditor also noted that the town administration made the same promises in its 2017 response that it made in its 2016 response. 

The audit findings included inadequate segregation of duties, financial statement adjustments that had to be made because of unreconciled customer deposits and bank balances, fund balance deficits, unreconciled water production billings, failure to maintain police tickets properly, failure to assess garbage service charges, non-compliance with budget law requirements, failure to make required monthly transfers for bond reserves and the sinking fund, failure to adjust utility rates, failure to disconnect services, improper use of sales and use taxes, failure to publish minutes, failure to maintain workers’ compensation insurance, and failure to properly bill water service charges.

Mayor Donna Lewis Lanceslin did not agree with the audit findings. 

"The Town of Baldwin has reviewed the comments in the draft reports and takes exception to the summarization that it does not properly manage Town Finances, has an unreliable system of Checks and Balances and is Out of Compliance," Mayor . "The Mayor and Board take their fiduciary responsibilities, regarding town finances, very seriously and a corrective action plan will be provided to you as soon as the Town of Baldwin has had an opportunity to create a corrective action plan and implement it accordingly."