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County rescuers subject to audits

August 03, 2005|by TARA REILLY

The Washington County Commissioners plan to keep an eye on the finances of fire and rescue companies in the county.

The County Commissioner approved a policy Tuesday that subjects the companies to auditing by the county or a county-approved contractor.

The policy also requires fire and rescue companies to submit annual financial reports to the county.

The commissioners "distribute a significant amount of public funds to individual fire and rescue companies for these services each year," according to information included in the county's meeting agenda.

The policy "is proposed to monitor proper and appropriate use of public funds raised by and distributed to Washington County's Fire and Rescue Companies. This policy will aid in safeguarding the public's trust for private donations and public funds distributed," according to the information.

Joe Kroboth, director of the Division of Fire and Emergency Services, told the commissioners Tuesday that he hasn't received any negative or positive feedback on the policy.

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He said each company and company president were given copies of the policy for review.

The cost of an audit could range rom $3,000 to $30,000, depending on the financial activity of the company and quality of record keeping, the county information states.

Failure to comply with the county's policy could result in the county money being withheld from or forfeited by a company.

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