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Audit question addressed at county board meeting

Hubbard County Auditor/Treasurer Kay Rave at Tuesday's regular board meeting presented the Hubbard County Board with information regarding the controversy surrounding the 2015 audit.

Earlier in April, Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto reported that eight of 26 counties that conducted their financial audits using private auditors, including Hubbard County, needed to be redone.

Rave said that, on April 14, she received a notification from the Office of the State Auditor which read, "Given that the completed audit did not meet required standards as completed by Hoffman, Philipp & Knutson, the Office of the State Auditor is unable to accept it as a valid audit. If Hubbard County will need to make arrangements for a new 2015 audit to be performed, please notify the OSA by April 28. You are required to comply with this requirement including who will be performing the new audit. The OSA will then review the CPA's work papers upon completion of the audit."

Rave stated that she had already been in contact with the auditor from Hoffman, Philipp & Knutson.

"They will redo their audit and go through their audit, adding the necessary documentation, and they will not charge the county anything. There will be no additional cost to the county," Rave said.

She explained to commissioners that Colleen Hoffman of Hoffman, Philipp & Knutson had told her that the audit was complete.

"I have every faith in our auditors and our audit that was performed for 2015. I think everything was fully disclosed and it was accurate and complete," Rave said. "What the state auditor is saying is that the internal documentation was not complete. So Colleen had told me they bought new software that was supposed to help them track and document their documentation and they sent it in in electronic form to the state auditor and when it got to the state auditor, they couldn't open it in a readable format."

Rave said she had proof that the OSA had contacted Hoffman's office on March 21 telling her that they were lacking the documentation. Hoffman responded the same day explaining the circumstances and that they would re-submit the audit.

In other business, county commissioners did the following:

• Held a public hearing at 10:30 a.m. in regards to amending the ordinance pertaining to Sunday liquor sales. The reading of the public notice was waived. The commissioners reviewed the proposed amendment. There was no public comment and the public hearing was concluded at 10:36 a.m. The commissioners adopted Amendment No. 1 of Ordinance No. 42 as presented, allowing the sale of all off-sale alcoholic beverages between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sundays as per Minnesota Statute with an effective date of July 1, 2017.

• Approved the sales from the April 10 timber auction, totaling $320,119.70.

• Approved a low quote from W.W. Thompson of Bemidji for culvert purchases in the amount of $10,744.02.

• Approved overtime, as needed, for Land Department personnel to complete tree planting and microsite release contracts.

• Reviewed an appraisal in the amount of $30,000, completed by Spirit Valuation Services in Menahga, for the vacant lot left behind after the demolition of the water tower. The commissioners tabled any further review of the appraisal as per the effective valuation date for up to one year.

• Accepted the resignation of part-time, certified attendant Dwayne Peterson.

• Approved a payment to Nevis Public School in the amount of $15,998.88, which is 50 percent of the payment for services provided during the 2014-2015 school year due to an untimely submission of the bill.

• Approved a resolution accepting the 2017 Federal Boating Enforcement Supplemental Grant for additional patrol hours in the amount of $6,375, as requested by the Hubbard County Sheriff.

• Authorized the county auditor/treasurer to solicit bids for a potential remodel of Taxpayer Services area to improve service to the public.

• Accepted the resignation of Legal Secretary Amy Card, effective May 1.

• Were informed a new Assistant County Attorney, Adam Licari, had been hired and began on April 17.

The next regular county board meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 2 at the Hubbard County Government Center.