AURORA, Wis. - Members of the Aurora Town Board have agreed to hire a certified public accountant (CPA) as they move closer to adopting an ordinance regarding the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department's fundraiser money.
Aurora Town Board Chairman Bill Dyer had previously explained that the Wisconsin Department of Revenue is now requiring municipalities to enact ordinances governing the placement of all fire department funds, even those earned through fundraisers and donations.
At a special town meeting on Dec. 3, Aurora Fire Chief Chad Hedmark presented the board with a proposed ordinance. The ordinance was modeled on those of other Wisconsin towns, and would give the fire department treasurer exclusive control over the fire department's bank account.
During the regular town meeting on Monday, board members said that they had no problems with the ordinance, but they want to make sure it is acceptable to the Department of Revenue.
Dyer expressed concern that the fire department treasurer would have exclusive control over the bank account. He thought that maybe the name of either the town clerk or the town treasurer should be placed on the account.
One of the reasons for the Department of Revenue's requirement is to ensure that all fire department money is held by a bondable public official, such as a town clerk or treasurer. That way, if any money is lost through embezzlement, the bond company can reimburse the organization.
Hedmark pointed out that he did some research and found out that both he, as fire chief, and the fire department treasurer are also covered under the town's bonding.
Dyer then asked about setting a limit on the account in order to deter any embezzlement.
However, Aurora Town Clerk Stacy Hedmark pointed out that there would be a system of checks and balances in place if the fire department treasurer, town clerk, and town treasurer all see the monthly bank statements.
Board member Yvonne VanPembrook suggested that the board hire a CPA to look over the proposed ordinance with two additions: that the fire department will follow the recommended accounting procedures of the CPA and that the fire department will give monthly bank statements to the town clerk or treasurer.
VanPembrook said that the estimated cost of the CPA's services would be $1,500 to $1,800.
The board approved VanPembrook's motion.
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