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State audit of Tracy getting underway

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

A state audit of the City of Tracy began Thursday.

The auditors met with the board of aldermen at their regular meeting last Wednesday night to discuss the process of the audit and what documents they would need from the city.

The auditor, Candi Copley, said she would begin gathering documents on Thursday morning.

During the meeting, Robert Showers, audit manager, told the board the state had received a petition with 38 qualified signatures and was proceeding with the review. Showers said the city is required to pay a portion of the cost, which could be approximately $10,000 depending on the scope.

Showers also said they had met with the petitioners and received their concerns about the city's finances.

“We will focus on the fiscal year 2008, but nothing is off limits,” said Showers. “The city court will be audited separately.”

Showers said the city will be provided with a copy of the audit before it is made public so city officials can make comments to be included.

“It may take a couple of months,” said Showers.

He also said the audit will focus mainly on operational issues and not focus on the financial statements. The auditors will also use the city's 2008 budget, which is currently being prepared, in order to minimize duplication.

“Why have we not seen a list of the concerns,” asked Rita Rhoads, mayor.

“They are confidential,” said Showers.

“What is the statute for the confidentiality?” asked Lisa Rehard, attorney.

Showers responded that he was not sure which part of the statute dealt with the confidentiality, but that it is included in the Missouri statutes covering the auditor's office.

Showers also asked if the board had any specific concerns they wanted the auditors to look into. None of the board members responded with a concern.

The audit was started with a petition by former mayor Brenda Ferguson, who collected the 38 required signatures of Tracy registered voters.

The board also discussed the proposed Tracy Highlands project by developer Bill Mann.

Rhoads told the board she thinks Mann ironed out issues with Platte City in order to have the project connected to the city's sewer system.

Rhoads said she had received a letter from Chuck Reineke, executive director with the Platte County Regional Sewer District (PCRSD), saying the area can only be served by the PCRSD.

The letter states that, “any areas annexed into the city limits after April 15, 1992 are within the PCRSD service area. As the continuing authority in those areas, all sanitary sewer plans and improvements must go through PCRSD for approval and service.”

Currently the city of Tracy pays Platte City to treat all sewage from residences and businesses within its city limits.

The project will construct a large truck stop/gas station at the 273 Highway exit from Interstate 29 at Tracy. There will also be 11 commercial lots on the property and a roadway will connect to First Street.



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