BEDFORD - DECEMBER 9, 2023 - A recent audit by the Indiana State Board of Accounts revealed accounting errors and mistakes with funds at Bedford Utilities and city's Tax Inceremental Financing Funds.
This report covers from January 2022- to December 2022 which was released in October.
The accounting errors in Bedford Utilities totaled around $1.5 million.
Photo: Spider Creek Lift station
This audit also revealed over $ 5 million in errors in grant funds the City of Bedford received.
Adjustments were proposed and accepted by the city and made in the schedule of expenditures of Federal awards presented in the record of the Federal Compliance Audit report of the city.
The City of Bedford just recently passed fee increases in trash fees because of funds have depleted in those accounts.
Bedford Street Commissioner David Flinn asked for the increase in fees because funds were used for repairs for the repairs on the city trash trucks.
Photo: Bedford Utilities has not released cash on hand , income or expenses of the City of Bedford trash fees
The City of Bedford has never revealed the cash on hand, yearly expenditures, or revenues of the city's trash pickup.
Most of the accounting errors in the Indiana State Board of Accounts audit only revealed errors in the water and sewer departments.
The City of Bedford have increased water, sewer and now trash fees over the last four years under Bedford Mayor and Utilities President Sam Craig.
Photo: Bedford Mayor and President Bedford Utilities Sam Craig
According to the audit " due to lack of internal controls over the AFR information, the following errors was made"
The City of Bedford Utilities failed to report the Water Meter Lease - Refinance 2014, resulting in the annual lease payment being understated by $305,168
The City of Bedford Utilities overstated the principal balance of the Refunding of 2007 Tax Incremental Bond 2018 by $125,000
The City of Bedford overstated the ending principal balance of the Bedford Municipal Sewage Works Bond 2018 by $300,000
The City of Bedford Utilies overstated the ending principal balance of the Sewage Works Revenue Bond Series 2020 by $768,000
These types of errors can be costly to the residents and businesses as fees are added on to the customers in the City of Bedford.
There is no oversight by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and the city residents are not given information in regards to income and expenditures of city utilities.
No balance sheets of thhe city utilities were provided during the public hearings when fee increases were requested by Mayor Craig and Street Commissioner David Flinn.
In addition to the City Utilities there were errors in grants the city already received.
The Community Facilities Loans and Grants was omitted from SEFA, which unerstated the expenditures by $3, 732,000
Several grants had indidually immaterial errors that resulted in misstatements of expenditures that totaled S369,465
Other errors included incorrect pass- through entity names, programs names, and identifying numbers
CARES ACT FUNDS:
Again there were adjustments were proposed, accepted by the city and made to the schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards presented in the Federal Compliance Audit reports.
Photo: Former Bedford Clerk- Treasurer Marsha Pfeiffer
Bedford Clerk-Treasurer Marsha Pfeifer was the Republican Clerk Treasurer at the time of the audit.
Marsha Pfeiffer who was set to run in this year's City Clerk Treasurer race in December 2022, however resigned in January 2023 as Bedford's Clerk- Treasurer.
Phieffer was hired by the Lawrence County Commissioners to fill a vaccancy in the Lawrence County Auditors office, and Lawrence County Council approved a higher pay scale based on her previous experience despite the salary ordinance preventing such action.
The Republican Party replaced the former Bedford Clerk- Treasurer in a Caucus with former Lawrence County Clerk Billie Tumey.
Tumey is now the Bedford Clerk- Treasurer Elect.
President Bedford City Utilities Presidennt Samuel Craig did not reveal the issue to taxpayers or city residents of the issues and accounting problems that has affected fee increases acrooss the board.
The Republcan led city council members did not reveal or asked questions about the fee increases or why the expenditures are eating away the income.
The city has not commented on the audit report at this time.
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