COALPORT — A former council president told members of Coalport Borough Council he believes the borough’s financial situations are improving but there is still more to be done.
Paul Zupich addressed council at Friday’s rescheduled meeting. Zupich provided a written list of issues with bookkeeping he thinks need to be corrected to allow council to have a clearer idea of the funds it is taking in and spending.
The individual objections noted in Zupich’s letter included line items for the borough’s budget revenue, which he said should be addressed either because the amounts are currently not available to the borough, or an incorrect figure was used.
“In summary, the borough’s operating revenue (in its 2021 budget) is only $89,000 and not the $118,000 council budgeted. (The borough’s) expenditures, however, are $118,000, creating a $29,000 deficit,” Zupich said.
He told council he believes it needs to make changes immediately to correct the problems.
“Council needs to know what is coming in and what it has spent,” Zupich said.
He said he believes the borough would be better served by outsourcing its bookkeeping and the cost would be more effective in the long run.
“The state Department of Community and Economic Development requires municipalities to use Quickbooks. Council however receives its monthly finance report done on a spreadsheet,” Zupich said. “The report council approves is to be audited to determine if it accurately reflects what happens at the borough. Auditing a second set of books done on Quickbooks that council did not review would likely cause even more problems.
“The solution is to outsource bookkeeping to an accounting firm — if one can be found that is willing to work for Coalport. Also council should post the budget and finance reports to its Facebook page,” Zupich said.
Council President Barby Trent told Zupich the borough is making progress in clearing up issues with missing reports and payments to the Internal Revenue Service and the state Department of Revenue, sending out its final report to the IRS this week.
“All federal tax forms were mailed out this week,” Trent said.
When asked whether the borough would owe additional fines because its reports were filed late, Trent said, “I am not sure whether there will be additional fines. The borough hasn’t been sent any more bills by the IRS. We were told to send a letter with forms stating why the reports weren’t taken care of. We have been working at getting in what we need to get in.”
Finance Committee Chairwoman LaDawn Yingling told Zupich she has seen progress in the borough’s financial matters.
“I have seen improvement since I started on council,” she told Zupich.
When asked by Trent, Zupich said he would be willing to meet with council’s finance committee to go over ways to correct its budget and bookkeeping.
In a related matter, council approved a three-month trial run of the Quickbook’s payroll system. Secretary Noelle Morrissey said the cost would be approximately $23 per month for the software.