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Sunnyside Port passes state audit with flying colors

In 40 years of operation the Sunnyside Port District has never had an audit finding, according to Washington State Auditor's office records. The most recent audit report, dated Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2003, is no different.

According to written comments from Brian Sonntag, the head of the state auditor's office, the Sunnyside Port District staff actively communicates with the state auditor's office throughout the year.

"The Port is very responsive to the office's suggestions or guidance," said Sonntag.

"We aim to please," said Port Manager Amber Hansen.

"We strive very hard to comply with all state regulations," she added.

Hansen said her staff works to leverage every dollar of the Port's nearly $3 million operating revenues into positive projects for the community, which includes the operation of the industrial wastewater treatment facility on Midvale Road, along with a variety of other facilities located within the Port's boundaries.

State auditors examined the Port's billing and accounts receivable, purchasing practices, fixed assets, payroll and financial statement preparation and journal entries. The auditors also checked the following areas for compliance of applicable state and local laws and regulations: deposit and investment of public funds, required financial schedules, ethics/conflict of interest laws, open meeting act, credit card usage, travel expenses, competitive bidding requirements and promotional hosting. The auditors also doubled checked to be sure the Port is complying with its own policies and procedures.

The Port's industrial wastewater treatment facility serves 19 Sunnyside food and food-related industries, as well as a pipe manufacturing plant. The Port District encompasses a land area of approximately 335,000 acres. In addition, the Port, which is governed by a three-man commission, employs 12 full-time employees.

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