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October 5, 2013

Keeseville audit faults accounting

KEESEVILLE — A state audit of Village of Keeseville finances from 2010 to this year says accounting errors understated finances and put the municipality in fiscal danger.

Village Mayor Dale Holderman said the errors were made by the previous administration and have since been corrected.

The mayor said he and the Village Board concurred with the findings in the audit conducted by the Office of the State Comptroller.

“I was happy with the audit,” the mayor said in an interview Tuesday. “We’re doing things right. We’re back on track where we need to be.”

‘ON SAME PAGE NOW’

He said their goal is a zero deficit at the end of the current financial year.

“Everybody is on the same page now to get things done correctly the way they’re supposed to get done. We have a large surplus because we watch our pennies closely.

“We want to get the village on good financial footing. We want to be fiscally responsible with taxpayers’ money.”

In the interview, Holderman said the audit made it seem as though Village Clerk-Treasurer Lynn Hathaway was responsible for the errors, when in fact she was just doing what she was directed to do by the previous village administration.

“Lynn did everything she could. She made annotations on the paperwork. She steered them (auditors) right to it. We had previously fixed a bunch of stuff (errors).”

DISSOLUTION VOTE

Holderman said he did not want to point fingers at the previous mayor, Megan Rock, for any problems. Rock has since left the area.

The audit did not find any intent by anyone to defraud and no money was found missing.

Holderman said the auditor worked with Hathaway to correct the bookkeeping entries that were wrong.

The mayor said the suggestion that they needed a multi-year financial plan is likely moot, because earlier this year voters approved dissolution of the village effective Dec. 31, 2014.

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