Audit report gives City favorable rating

Holding up his end of the bargain, Michael Schaffner, Brady CPA, delivered the 1998-99 fiscal year audit to the City Council Tuesday night’an audit that shows the City of Brady in good financial standings. A big leap from the state the City was in just two short years ago, the audit gives many residents and city officials a sigh of relief. Because the city was faced with an untimely audit from the original Fredericksburg-based audit firm, the Council solicited the help of Schaffner’s local firm. When Schaffner and his staff took over the audit in mid-January, they discovered that none of the confirmations had been sent out from the previous audit firm. Normally, at the end of a fiscal year of a municipality, that being Sept. 30 for the City of Brady, confirmation letters are sent out to the Department of Housing and Community Affairs, banks, various vendors, the Department of Transportation, etc. The City had approximately 50 confirmations throughout the 1998-99 fiscal year. According to Schaffner, the audit should have taken place approximately 30 days after the agencies received those confirmation letters. Schaffner’s staff started at the base level, completing necessary field work, collecting figures and establishing a format to create a data base for the audit. In an earlier address to the City Council, Schaffner commented, “We’re essentially starting from scratch. We don’t have a data base to build on as a firm normally would.” The last time an audit was completed by Schaffner’s firm for the City of Brady was 1994. Now that a data base has been established through Schaffner, the City shouldn’t be faced with such an obstacle in the next audit phase, providing that they elect again to use his services. The audit was unanimously accepted by the Council. In other business, the Council voted to waive all facility charges for the G. Rollie White Complex for both the McCulloch County Jr. Youth Rodeo Association and the Brady Youth Sports Foundation. With both groups needing a facility to accommodate the growing organizations, the Council approved the request from the rodeo association to use the complex July 14-15 for the upcoming annual junior rodeo. In addition, the use of the complex was also granted to the Brady Youth Sports Foundation to house its annual sports ceremonies, an event that treats the youth of Brady active in sports to a barbecue dinner and an awards presentation. The City Council voted to reschedule the Tuesday, July 4 regularly scheduled meeting to Monday, July 3. The Council took into consideration the fact that it would be in violation of the City Charter regardless of whether they rescheduled the meeting a day earlier or a day late but decided to go with their initial intent to conduct the meeting on July 3. One action item that didn’t fare well on the Council table included two bids for a stand-by generator for the waste water plant. Both bids submitted to the City were for $30,000. City Manager Gary Broz recommended that the Council consider spending $15,000 on another engine as opposed to replacing the entire piece of machinery. With only $20,000 budgeted for the item, the Council agreed to accept Broz’s request and rejected the two bids submitted. The Council approved a bid for $9,495 for a cardiac monitor for Brady Emergency Management System. The monitor will be paid for through a $4,734 grant from the Texas Department of Health and a $2,832 grant from the Regional Council of Governments. The remaining $1,929 will be paid through the city/county EMS budget. The bids submitted for a four-wheel drive loader were tabled until a later meeting so that Broz can find more information to bring back to the Council. The consultant firm of Randolph and Gilbreath and Associates and Jacob and Martin Engineers, both of Abilene, were approved by the Council Tuesday night to complete the city’s application to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Water, Sewer Grant for 2000. Because of a petition to deny the request to rezone Block 8, Rutherford Trigg Addition from Type A’residential to Type D’commercial for the purpose of a mechanic shop for Mario Salas, the Council voted not to pass on the item. State law requires that residents within a 200-foot radius of the site proposing the rezoning be notified by the City. Sixteen residential homes are in the 200-foot radius and of those, eight presented signatures in a petition opposing the mechanic shop. The request was previously denied by the Zoning Commission based on the fact that more than 20 percent of the residents in the area were in opposition. In Steve Black’s address to the Council regarding a 1958 Ordinance that bans all vehicles from being parked on public sidewalks he commented, “We probably need to have an ordinance clean-up committee,” suggesting that many of the ordinances have “peaked their prime.” Black requested that the Council consider writing another ordinance or recall the original one because it inflicts a certain strain on his business (Norman Motors). For many years Black has been merchandising many of his stocked vehicles on the sidewalk. If the Council chooses to uphold the ordinance, Black says he will be required to remove all motor vehicles from the sidewalk. On a positive note, Doris Williams addressed the City Council on behalf of a new volunteer organization, “Keep Brady Beautiful,” that’s gearing up to sweep through the community with hopes of reviving some of the run-down and neglected sectors of Brady. Mrs. Williams, along with a handful of volunteers, are focusing on educating the local community about recycling and how if initiated within the whole city, it can reduce many costs incurred at the landfill. A Great Brady Trash-Off and Recycling Event has been scheduled for August 11-13. Mrs. Williams is asking for community members to step forward and help stop the illegal dumping that is becoming more and more prevalent in Brady. The “Keep Brady Beautiful” mission is to empower the community to take responsibility for enhancing the community and neighborhood environments. The program aims at establishing a standard for continuous approval and recognition of the community with an ongoing litter prevention and neighborhood beautification effort, while emphasizing the need for recycling in the community.

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