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Indiana Township submits audit

| Thursday, April 3, 2003

INDIANA TOWNSHIP: For the first time since 1996, the township has submitted an audit to the state done by an independent auditing firm.

The firm of Maher Duesel performed the audit and met the April 1 deadline at which municipal audits were due at the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

"They (Maher Duesel) did a very through job," Township Manager Daniel Anderson said.

Anderson reported to the township supervisors on the audit and said there were no major findings.

Some of the recommendations centered on the utilities funds. The administrative service costs were divided up by area. For example, Ottawa Hills was charged office fees separate from the other sewer districts. The independent auditors informed the township all the administrative fees could be lumped together.

The 2002 audit notes the value of fixed assets, such as the worth of the sewers and other utilities, was not documented. Anderson went looking for the records, however he found the same comment in the 1996 audit.

"The township's been aware of this for some time," Anderson said.

He doesn't foresee a problem. However, if Middle Road residents get sewers, as is being researched, Anderson will make sure all records are kept on the costs and depreciation of these assets.

"If we do the project, we will follow the procedures outlined by Maher Duesel and retain those records," he said.

The procedures for determining fixed assets "was not an item raised in any of the audits between (1996) and now," Anderson said.

Those audits were performed by the township's elected auditors.

The elected auditors -- David Allison, Charles Wolenter and Michael Churilla -- questioned hiring the outside firm. Anderson said, as a home rule township, Indiana has that option. However, if a firm is hired, the elected officers are not to conduct an audit. Also, the township is not permitted to pay them the salary of about $3,00 they normally receive for their work.

"I felt more comfortable having an independent audit because of the circumstances," Anderson said.

The 2003 budget was the first organized by Anderson who took over the position in September 2002 after the death of Kevin Brozek. The supervisors approved hiring Maher Duesel at a cost of $5,600. Their last independent audit came when

Brozek took over as manager. Anderson said some of the items in the audit are not significant, but the review of procedures was valuable.

He would not comment whether Indiana Township will go with a professional firm or with the auditors next year.

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