Joplin's bill for state audit is about $156,000

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(JOPLIN, Mo., AP) — Missouri has billed Joplin more than $150,000 for a state audit that faulted the southwest Missouri city for its financial practices in the wake of the 2011 tornado.
The Joplin Globe reports (http://bit.ly/1W66xn9 ) the city recently received the $156,862 bill for the audit undertaken after a petition drive. The bill’s nearly $7,000 more than the top end of the state’s early estimate.
The audit gave Joplin the lowest rating and said the city lacked a foundation of best practices and delayed filing for about $10 million in disaster recovery reimbursements due from the May 2011 tornado that destroyed much of the city and killed 161 people.
The city council had decided previously to allow the finance department to delay the filings until all of the recovery work on city properties had been finished and because of the volume of work city staff faced in the aftermath of the storm.
Galloway also said some problems predated the tornado, such as violations of open records law in closed meetings and cash handling in the city buildings and parks venues.
The auditor said the city lacked a foundation of best practices and policies in its daily operations that included a delay in filing for $10.9 million in disaster recovery reimbursements due from the 2011 tornado.
Joplin Mayor Mike Seibert could not be reached immediately for comment.
The city council and staff say they have been working on corrective measures.
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Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com