A recent audit of the Allen Volunteer Fire Department recommended several changes after a cursory review of the department’s accounting and policies.
Questions were raised about the unit’s finances last year, after it was revealed that the department had spend nearly $200,000 in one month on various contracted services.
Several invoices obtained by The Floyd County Times last year showed AFVD paid for a number of services, including an invoice submitted March 16 that listed three items, “pour and finish new concrete on inside of building” for $12,000, “saw cut and remove asphalt slab under concrete in small building” for $3,000, and “additional equipment and labor cost” for $4,500, for a total of $19,500. There were additionally two more invoices submitted by Lawson Contracting on March 16 totalling another $30,800.
According to the audit, the auditors, “found no significant questionable expenditures resulting from our review of district bank records,” though the audit states that the district needs to create formal written policies to provide greater control and oversight of spending.
The recent audit performed by Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen’s office offered up three recommendations for the department moving forward, but found no fault in the agencies contracted services.
According to the audit, which was submitted on Jan. 31, the work performed between February and March 2012, totaling $175,267.94 was not bid through a formal competitive bid process. According to state law, fire protection districts are subject to the same procurement laws as Kentucky counties and cities, and as such must adopt a bidding process for any project, contracted service, or professional service with a cost of more than $20,000.
The auditors will also unable to find any record of meeting minutes which were kept by the department. Kentucky law states that minutes from meetings must be kept, and that copies of said minutes must be filed with the Floyd County Clerk’s office.
Auditors also found that the last budget submitted to the county clerk’s office was in 2010.
Both Fire Chief Roy Compton and Assistant Chief Larry Castle resigned last year after information regarding the district’s finances was released, and a new tax board was elected shortly after.
The State Auditor’s office has been vigorously investigating special taxing districts following a series of audits which exposed serious financial malfeasance and lack of quality control. Two Floyd County taxing districts, Allen Volunteer Fire Department and Garrett Volunteer Fire Department, have already been audited.