Weatherford Democrat

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March 31, 2013

Annetta addresses financial discrepancies

By CHRISTIN COYNE

ANNETTA – The Annetta Town Council took steps Thursday night to rectify two separate financial issues discovered during an audit of the city’s funds.

The recent audit was clean but did reveal a couple of outstanding issues, according to council member Chuck Sheridan, who handles the city’s finances.

In an email sent to council members, Sheridan addressed a recently uncovered problem concerning approximately $170,000.

A prior council used city funds to put in the water system in the Lakes of Aledo subdivision several years ago on the understanding the money was to move to a 10-year note, paid back to the City of Annetta by the water system once the system was purchased and operational, Sheridan said.

City leaders were not clear about why there was no follow-through by prior council members on the arrangement.

The city was not made aware of the issue during a previous audit, according to Sheridan. The water system is paying for itself and is fully functional, he said.

However, because the city – which is currently searching locations to drill two additional wells – might have additional unforeseen expenses and maintenance costs, Sheridan recommended the council wait to transfer the money rather than risk the city having to borrow more to complete the projects.

After drilling the additional wells, the water system should have more water to sell and be able to bring in more revenue, Sheridan said. Because the system cannot currently meet the demand for water at times, the system was on Stage 4 emergency water restrictions between August and December.

Other members of the council disagreed with Sheridan’s recommendation and voted to move ahead with transferring the money back to the city’s general fund from the city’s enterprise fund.

“Over the past couple of months this council has been petitioned by the citizens of the Deer Creek water system to give them what they believe is rightfully theirs,” Mayor Pro Tem Larry Wood said. “I don’t see how … they would deny what is rightfully the city’s.”

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