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N. Collins board told to take role in paying bills

A state audit says the North Collins Village Board should get more involved in paying the bills.

"The board must audit all claims prior to disbursement and establish an internal control system that provides reasonable assurance that all cash disbursements are authorized," states the audit completed by the Office of State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

The audit found that some bills were paid before the Village Board approved payment; there was no schedule of village wages filed; and the duties of disbursing, recording and reporting funds in the Clerk-Treasurer's Office are not segregated. It is the board's responsibility to institute internal controls, the audit said.

North Collins Mayor Vincent George said the village already has started implementing the recommendations.

"With our village being so small, our clerk-treasurer has to handle everything," he said. "We employ only four people."

Board members will review and approve claims and monthly budget status reports, and do an annual audit of the clerk-treasurer's documents.

The audit said it appeared some salary lines were overextended, but George said it was because contracts provide extra pay for perfect attendance.

"The auditors want it more defined," George said. "We were able to show it in our records."

Auditors reviewed $29,932 in general and water fund claims and found "all payments appeared to have been for legitimate village purposes."

George said board members were pleased that the deficiencies found in the audit could be improved by getting the board more involved.

"We can correct everything right away," he said.

The audit covered June 1, 2010 through Dec. 20, 2011.