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Sunnyside making progress on city’s financial problems

Even while the city of Sunnyside is working on its budget for 2014, financial problems from the past continue to haunt the staff.

Last night the city council approved a single budget amendment to the 2013 budget to add the beginning cash balances to each applicable fund along with other changes that were not handled earlier in the year.

The amendment includes the budget for the fire station construction, both on the revenue and expense sides. It also includes the receipt and payment of court fines on behalf of the state.

The city also needed to budget for the well 12 & 13 project. The sewer fund needed an amendment to cover a payment due to the state and the city’s information technology fund required an update.

The amendment fixed the budget for 2013, but older problems still persist.

Finance Director David Layden said he will be negotiating with a CPA to help process the 2011 state audit. The numbers uploaded to the state auditor’s website for the city’s 2011 audit have changed from the original numbers and must be updated before the audit can be finalized.

Deputy Mayor Don Vlieger said the city’s financial problems that the auditors uncovered are serious and recommended other council members sit down with the auditors.

“Mr. Layden has a herculean task,” said Vlieger of the job of sorting out Sunnyside’s financial past.

“We’ve got to get this cleaned up,” said City Manager Don Day. He said the city is two and a half years behind in audits and 2011 must be sorted out before the city can fix the problems with the 2012 audit.

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