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Township Gets Audit Notice Do-Over

SANATOGA PA – Consider this the legal notice edition of a “do-over.”

A legal advertisement, required by state law and published Friday (March 13, 2009) for Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township in The (Pottstown PA) Mercury newspaper, is expected to be published again today (Saturday, March 14, 2009) because the original contained typographic errors, according to township Secretary Michelle Cappelletti.

Oops.

A typo or two can be a terrible thing.

A typo or two can be a terrible thing.

“I found some errors when I proofread the audit notice,” Cappelletti wrote in the comments section of a story on the audit published Friday by The Sanatoga Post. “The Mercury will be re-running the audit notice … with the correct information,” she added.

In a separate e-mail to The Post, Cappelletti cited three errors:

  • Under the heading “REVENUES COLLECTED,” the amount for the item “Local Enabling Taxes” should have been $1,973,785, but was published as $1,953,785, a $20,000 difference;
  • Also under “REVENUES COLLECTED,” the item labeled “Interest and Rents” should instead have been presented only as “Interest;” and,
  • The heading “CASH IN BALANCES, December 31, 2008” should instead have been presented as “CASH IN BANK BALANCES, December 31, 2008.”

The errors were not attributed to any party or individual, and they seemed unlikely to materially affect the public’s impression of the overall report. Its sub-totals and totals were correct, even if contributing numbers as such the local enabling taxes were wrong. Still, Cappelletti’s e-mail noted, the township has a “need to be accurate, especially with the audit notice!”

Typos notwithstanding, its auditor reported the township had more cash available at the end of 2008 than it did at the year’s start. The audit shows the township had a total of $3,068,796 as cash in bank balances in four funds – general, state liquid fuels, parks and recreation, and street light – on Dec. 31, 2008, compared to $2,970,211 in the same four funds on Jan. 1, 2008. That’s after paying a year’s worth of expenses, totaling $6,040,444, according to the audit.

In addition to the $3.06 million it had in the bank on Dec. 31, the audit reports, the township was owed another $35,000 in outstanding taxes which, if collected in full, would have given it more than $3.1 million in resources at year’s end. Its outstanding obligation, a bond due in 2015, was listed as its sole liability of $570,000.

The total assessed value of real estate in the township, according to the audit notice, is $625,727,768. It did not state how, if at all, that total is adjusted for current market conditions.

The audit notice as published made no comment on the state of township finances during the 12-month period, nor did it report on irregularities, if any, discovered by the auditor. A copy of the entire audit was available, as of Friday, for public inspection at the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd., during its 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. regular weekday business hours.

Publication of the audit is required under the Pennsylvania’s Township Code Act of 1933.

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