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Audit results show "effective, not efficient" sewer billing

The procedures the city uses for its sewer billing had been under review after concerns the city was losing millions of dollars in revenues that weren't being billed to customers.

Posted: Oct 19, 2020 10:56 PM
Updated: Oct 20, 2020 9:36 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)  The City of St. Joseph's sewer billing department was described as effective, but not efficient, after an audit review of processes and procedures.

The city council heard the results of the audit Monday afternoon during a work session.

The audit, completed by the firm Plante & Moran, PLLC came about after a former employee raised serious concerns that bad practices in sewer billing was costing the city millions of dollars in revenues that weren't being billed to customers.

The report said that was not the case.

"I'm pleased with the results. It was reassuring that we aren't losing all this money," said Mayor Bill McMurray. 

However, the auditors indicated that there were many inefficiencies in the department.

"We have this system that we've cobbled together through all these years and we can be a lot more efficient," McMurray said. "For example, there's paper in the process. This should all be automated. Also, we don't need to do double entry. That's just basic Computer Science 101."

The audit firm compiled a list of recommendations that will be given to new city manager Gary Edwards, who will begin his job on November 9.

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More hot and humid weather on the way for today with highs back in the upper 90s with some areas reaching triple digits. Use caution when spending time outside because heat index values will once again be in the triple digits for many. A cold front will start to approach our area tonight and stall to our north giving us a few chances for showers and thunderstorms overnight, however this activity will not be widespread. Temperatures will still be above average this weekend with highs in the 90s. A few lingering rain chances will continue this weekend, but much of the weekend will be dry. The cold front will move through the area early next week giving us some much cooler temperatures. High will be back down in the upper 70s and lower 80s to start off next week.
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