After running into some financial difficulties, the city of Cortez is one step closer to being able to undergo audits, and receive state and county funds.
Because of a faulty software conversion process in 2016, the city has not had a financial audit in three years, meaning Cortez had been cut off from being able to apply for state grants and receive property taxes.
At the last council meeting, the City Council had approved a “blank check” from the council budget to City Manager John Dougherty, in order for financial services software company Casselle to put the 2016 documents in order. However, this “blank check” was unnecessary, Dougherty said – Casselle agreed to cap their charge at the 20 hour price of $3,500.
“The blank check you gave me for 2016 will not be used,” Dougherty said. “They had agreed to stick within the 20 hours, or the $3,500 dollars. They’re already over 30 hours and they’ve continued to work for no cost, to get 2016 done.”
When the city transitioned to Casselle back in 2016, the conversion was not properly done, according to city staff – leading to three years of inadequate financial documentation. Because the city was unable to undergo a financial audit, the state would not allow it to apply for grants, and the county had withheld more than $169,800 in property taxes since Jan. 1, 2017.
The lack of audits was hampering the city’s ability to function, Dougherty said, which is why at the April 9 meeting he had approached the council with the request to fix the system, regardless of the cost.
The council unanimously approved his request, with the stipulation that the money come out of the City Council budget.
After the approval, Casselle started work on fixing the system for the 2016 documents. They hope to have the 2016 documents finished and sent to auditors by Friday, April 25, Dougherty said.