Carbondale gets good marks in audit |

Carbondale gets good marks in audit

CARBONDALE — The town’s longtime auditing firms, McMahan and Associates of Avon, this week reported to the town board of trustees that Carbondale is doing a good job managing its finances overall.

Town Manager Jay Harrington, who was not at the June 25 trustees meeting but was briefed on the report, said the basic message was, “They didn’t note any management issues” that need to be corrected.

And the trustees, he said, were happy with the report.

“They pretty much accepted the audit,” Harrington said.

Town finance director Renae Gustine, who had been working only two days in her new job when the auditors showed up last spring, said that her understanding of the report is that the town is doing as well as it can in difficult economic times, and that there are no problems with the way the town manages its finances.

“If they see anything that needs to be fixed, they will point it out,” she remarked, adding that this year’s audit actually is a vote of confidence for the work done by recent finance director Nancy Barnett, who retired earlier this year.

“Next year will be my report card,” she said with a laugh.

Trustee Allyn Harvey agreed that the audit is an indication of Barnett’s ability, noting, “Nancy did a wonderful job, and I think that’s reflected in the financial health of Carbondale.”

His understanding from the auditor’s report, Harvey said, is that “our finances are in good order, we’ve got a fairly slow-growth curve going on, and we’re using the town’s revenues in a responsible fashion.”

In general, Harvey continued, “There are not a lot of issues going on” as far as the town’s fiscal health is concerned. He proudly pointed to the town’s reserve fund, which is basically sufficient to keep the town running for nearly a year without any income.

“I think that is a very safe margin,” he said, and puts the town in good shape to deal with expected infrastructure costs in the coming year or two, including repairs to some of the streets. All told, he concluded, “We’re in good financial shape, and as a council member you can take a breath and say, ‘Good. Now what can we do next?’”

The full report, which is nearly 80 pages long, is available for public inspection at Town Hall.

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