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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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This week will be much cooler than last week for northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Wind chills Monday morning will be in the teens with the daytime high only getting into the 40s. Tuesday we will see a little bit of a warm up with highs in the mid 40's.
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