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Audit indicates Brawley owes Local Transporation Authority $320,000

April 26, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

A Local Transportation Authority audit for 1999-2000 says the city of Brawley must repay $320,000 to the LTA.

El Centro-based certified public accountant George Woo, who performed the annual financial report, said the money should be repaid with interest.

The finding in the audit states that Brawley's "LTA fund and another city fund were involved in a joint project. It appears the LTA fund initially paid for this joint project and has only been partially reimbursed by the other city fund."

Woo was not specific, and Brawley City Councilwoman Jo Shields, who declined to comment on the finding, asked that in the future such audit information be provided prior to LTA meetings to have adequate time to review the information.

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The report goes on to state, "the financial statement for the current year reflects an asset of $320,000 listed as due from other funds on the city's LTA balance sheet. The special revenue fund established by the city should be used only for LTA transactions.

"I recommend the city management review this finding and reimburse the city's LTA fund for the $320,000," Woo wrote. "I also recommend the city management reimburse the city's LTA fund in a more timely manner on any future joint projects the LTA is involved in."

In other findings, Woo told the LTA board:

l the city of Calipatria is not earning enough interest on its LTA funds.

l the city of Holtville should not commingle LTA and California Department of Transportation funds, as it has done with $367,650 from Caltrans; also, that the city's overhead cost allocation plan does not appear to be properly supported.

l the city of Westmorland is commingling LTA funds with other funds, that certain LTA moneys are not being posted to the proper fund, that certain records need to be updated, that interest payments are not being posted to LTA funds in a timely manner and that certain city LTA funds are not being posted to the LTA fund in a timely manner.

There were no findings for the other cities or the county. The LTA is a transportation authority whose membership consists of the cities and the county.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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