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Three weeks after a draft of an audit of Winter Springs was leaked to the news media, the official audit was released this week before the city had seen it, according to a city spokesperson.
“…we received a copy of the audit from Channel 6 and staff has not had the opportunity to review the final audit,” city spokesman Matthew Reeser wrote in an email to OCN.
In that final audit report, aimed at investigating whether the city had properly spent penny sales tax revenues designed to be used for infrastructure repairs or upgrades, little was found to have violated state statutes, according to Inspector General Bill Carroll, who led the audit.
“A small portion of the funds were not spent in compliance with the law,” Carroll wrote on behalf of Seminole County, which placed him in charge of auditing Winter Springs.
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In the report, he continued that “…more internal administrative controls are needed to increase transparency and protect the citizens’ tax dollars” after stating that “Unlike previous sales tax programs implemented in 1984, 1991 and 2001, this ordinance and interlocal agreement has no administrative controls to ensure commitments made to the public are completed.
County Commissioner Jay Zembower has since recommended that all cities in the county be audited.
Read the full audit here.
The report did recommend the city repay $2 million that it transferred to a water and sewer infrastructure project, though Mayor Kevin McCann on May 5 referred to state statutes, which he says show the city was within its rights to use the money for that purpose.
OCN will have a more in-depth report of the audit’s findings in next week’s edition of The Early Bird. Sign up here to get free weekly updates to your inbox.