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PRWID reviews annual financial audit

Mike Dalpiaz and Keith Cox look through PRWID's audit.

Sun Advocate writer

The Price River Water Improvement District (PRWID) has been running a deficit for the last few years, and although this year's financial audit found the same, the district appears to be fairing better. The audit done by Smuin, Rich and Marsing (SRM) accounting in Price was presented to board members during a meeting on Aug. 18.

During the review some of the district's accounting and revenue handling practices came under scrutiny since SRM identified some internal control conflicts, as well as other inefficiencies that if corrected could save some significant money.

Internal controls are defined in general accounting terms, as measures that help insure integrity when handling money. They typically work by having more than a single person involved when distributing paychecks, or transporting revenue. The district had both of these problems partially because they don't have very many employees, and it can be difficult to have multiple people in charge of signing and distributing checks. As far as deposits, it was shown by SRM that since PRWID's daily bank deposits are usually done the next day, they need to be kept under more security or simply make the deposits the same day they are received.

While there were several minor accounting issues, one of the major concerns for boardmembers was the districts deficit. According to SRM, PRWID has a funds structure that is wasting money needlessly since many of the funds are just paper work and if consolidated, they would cost significantly less to process. SRM suggested that things like water debt be sold as one fund rather than four, and in total it was suggested that no less than 11 funds could be rendered down to four.

Consolidating many of the funds and other accounting modifications, according to boardmember Mike Dalpiaz, could possibly take PRWID out of the red for the year, or at least substantially reduce its deficit. Overall SRM mentioned numerous changes, but these were some of the major ones. The audit is a public record and can be acquired by anyone who wants to know more specifics.

Through the audit the accountants gave the district an unqualified opinion, which in the world of accounting is a good thing. The board will give the audit finial approval during their next scheduled meeting.

After the review discussion turned to the broken sewer pipe that crosses Carbon Avenue.

The pipe which was leaking has been in need of more permanent repairs and PRWID was able to obtain $105,000 from the Community Impact Board (CIB) to fix it.

After a bidding process, Nelco contracting was selected with the lowest bid and recommended by Jones and Demill engineering. Nelco's bid was about $63,800 with next lowest at around $79,000.

The total cost was estimated to be around $66,000, but with other costs it typically comes to a higher amount, thus the higher dollars from the CIB.

Jeff Richens indicated that because of the sewer line frailure, he is concerned about the condition of all of the district's lines that cross bridges, and will be looking into the situation.

The district will also be entering into an incentive deal with Rocky Mountain Power to install new light fixtures around the district that have the potential to save money over three years.

According to Jeff Richens, the project will cost about $2,700 and the company will give back $1,060. However, Dalpiaz was skeptical since he was concerned the project might not save money, and might cost more than what the agreement implies.

After some discussion it became apparent that most of the districts lights will need to be replaced by around 2012 anyway and thus the motion was adopted to accept RMP's incentive.

To conclude, the district did not vote to takeover the Pinnacle Water Company. It was decided that the board needs to tour the Pinnacle premises to ascertain a good understanding of the water lines they would be adopting. Once the tour is complete the issue will once again will be put to a vote.

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