CANALOU - As a result of an audit conducted of the City of Canalou, officials more money is going out than is coming in to some funds.
During 2001, the City of Canalou spent more than it received in the General Fund. "If this trend continues, the city's reserves will be depleted and the city will be unable to provide basic services in the future," the Missouri State Auditor's office stated in their report.
Auditors stated the General Fund had a negative balance for five months and the Street Fund reserves were used to cover the shortfall.
Other problems noted by the auditors included:
* The Board of Aldermen does not prepare an annual budget.
* The city does not publish semi-annual financial statements, nor has it submitted an annual financial report to the State Auditor's Office since 1997, as required by state law.
* As of January 31, the amount of 2001 property taxes delinquent was $1,647 or 29 percent of the total taxes assessed in 2001.
* The city collector prepares monthly reports of taxes collected; however, she does not prepare annual reports showing taxes collected and delinquent taxes as required by state law.
* The Street Fund is restricted for the maintenance, repairs, and policing of the city's streets. In December 2000, the city used $4,000 from the Street Fund to purchase a fire truck . In 2001, the city used approximately $3,200 for trash removal, lot clean up, and gasoline and propane purchases for the city. The city was unable to justify the use of the Street Fund for these items.
* The elected city collector has also been appointed city clerk and city treasurer. As a result, the duties of cash custody and record keeping are not adequately segregated.
* Also included in the audit are recommendations related to bidding procedures, accounting controls and procedures, disbursements, contracts, fixed assets, board meetings and minutes, and ordinances.