By NIKKI YOUNK
AURORA, Wis. - The Aurora Town Board initially hired a certified public accountant (CPA) to help in creating an ordinance to govern the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department's fundraiser money.
Now that board members have reviewed the CPA's findings, they are looking at hiring another CPA to investigate some inconsistencies found in the town's books.
A report generated by the initial CPA from Wipfli CPAs and Consultants out of Rhinelander, Wis. identified differences between the town clerk's voucher listing and the town treasurer's report and differences between expected revenues and revenues recorded by the town.
The report indicates that the discrepancies could have been caused by misclassification in recording.
During a special board meeting on Tuesday, Chairman Bill Dyer said that a full audit needs to be completed by March 31.
Supervisor Yvonne VanPembrook added that no one is implying that any illegal activity occurred.
In addition, Treasurer Tanya Neuens pointed out that the initial CPA has since confirmed that one of the listed discrepancies was an error on his behalf.
The board has set another special meeting for Friday at 6 p.m. to take action on hiring another CPA to do the audit.
On the issue of the fire department's fundraiser money, Dyer explained that the town cannot enact an ordinance until the audit is complete.
In previous meetings, Dyer has said 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.
Fire department members have expressed concern that if the town has control of their funds, it could use the money for other town purposes.
Dyer recommended that, after the audit is complete, the board should adopt an ordinance stating the guidelines for the use of the fire department money and a resolution preventing the town board from taking the money without a vote from the taxpayers.
Aurora Fire Chief Chad Hedmark and other fire department members wondered why the resolution language could not be incorporated into the ordinance.
Dyer explained that other Wisconsin towns have used resolutions and ordinances.
The ordinance issue will be on the agenda for the town board's next regular meeting on Feb. 25.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.