Norwood Council hears mostly positive audit report

By Marina Shankle, for the SNAP

The Norwood Town Council heard the results of the town’s audit for the end of the fiscal year and went over their proposed budget for the upcoming year during a called meeting Monday.

The council heard a presentation of their audit by Ken Anderson, CPA, of Anderson, Smith, and Wike PLLC.

Anderson began by stating that the general fund balance had slightly decreased from the previous year, but that the water and sewer fund had slightly increased. He pointed out that the tax collection for the year, at 98.4%, was higher than the state average.

Anderson commended Finance Director Luke Melton and former Town Administrator Scott Howard, with whom he worked.

Anderson’s audit did find some areas that needed improvement, including a few over-budget expenditures in the areas of general government, sanitation and debt service. The audit also uncovered the need for end of the year balances to be adjusted.

“We’re not coming in here to make adjustments. We’re here to do an audit,” Anderson said.

According to Interim Town Administrator, Ray Allen, “Staff is aware of all of these issues, and is taking steps to ensure that these items are corrected in future years.”

Some of the weaknesses in the recent budget were probably caused by the turnover of the finance director position and can be resolved now that Melton has taken the job, Allen said.

Anderson said that, overall, his findings were straightforward.

“As far as the numbers go, the numbers are fine,” he said.

Anderson mentioned that the town had many completed and ongoing projects in the budget this year, which include renovations to the wastewater treatment plant and sewer system and an ongoing project to replace the Lake Shore sewer pump station.

“You’ve got a lot going on,” Anderson said.

During the meeting, the council also unanimously approved the 2023-2024 budget.

The next Norwood Town Council meeting will take place Aug. 7.