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County hears audit report

WILLMAR -- A state audit of Kandiyohi County's 2007 finances uncovered some deficiencies in internal control and how some items were reported, but there were no instances of noncompliance with the financial statement.

Chuck Knandel, from the state auditor's office, presented a brief overview of the audit Tuesday to the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners.

The audit is for 2007. A backlog with the state is causing significant delays in when counties receive the information.

County Administrator Larry Kleindl said the county has been working with the state to correct any issues. He said some of the errors noted in the audit were the result of new state reporting rules that had not been incorporated into the county's 2007 financial system.

One issue was the county's failure to adequately report federal grants.

The county is now implementing a new system of policies and procedures to identify all federal awards received and spent by the various county departments.

The auditor noted several instances of large cash overdrafts, the lack of sufficient collateral to secure deposits at a local bank and lack of "prompt" payment of all invoices that are required to be paid within 35 days.

Problems were detected with bank reconciliation with jail inmate accounts that proved to be the fault of the computer software.

A one-time situation was noted when a public works employee, who received an allowance of $800 a month to cover the cost of his personal vehicle while on official duty, also received mileage reimbursement to attend an out-of-town event. Minnesota law states that only one method of reimbursement is allowed. The county stated it will comply with the state law.

Knandel also said some of the county's departments have more than enough money in their unreserved funds and some don't have enough to meet five months of operating expenses. He said the county's general fund unreserved balance should be almost $10 million but it's at $8 million.

In other action Tuesday:

- The commissioners revoked a conditional use permit that had been approved in September for Marlyn Marquardt to develop a cemetery for veterans on property he owns in Colfax Township. Marquardt was unable to comply with a requirement to establish within 90 days of the permit's issuance a $50,000 trust fund for perpetual maintenance of the cemetery.

- The commissioners approved a request by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to purchase an 80-acre tract of land in Lake Lillian Township. The county will receive a one-time payment of $24,260 as well as annual payments to a trust fund, made in lieu of taxes the county would otherwise receive.

- The commissioners approved a 10-acre land exchange in Mamre Township between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Al Christopherson that will allow better access to wildlife land for hunters.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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