Group to repay funds that were overspent

December 18, 2010|By TRISH RUDDER |

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — About $16,000 that was overspent by the Morgan County Partnership will be paid back to the Morgan County Commission.

Morgan County Partnership Board President David Ambrose said during a recent Morgan County Commission meeting that the discrepancy was found in funds from the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grants that totaled $552,000 in a five-year period. The funds are used to run the partnership.

Ambrose said the partnership will pay back the commission by the end of December.

The Morgan County Partnership was formed in 2006 with seed money from the Morgan County Commission. It is made up of community organizations, the county commission, schools, law enforcement, health sectors, and parks and recreation.

“The goal of the partnership is to work together as a community to identify the gaps, and to address these needs with prevention programs and to educate the community as a whole,” former director Susan Caperton has said.

The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The Morgan County Commission acted as the fiscal agent for the  program, said Carol York, the county grants administrator.

York said since the grant was coming to an end, she and Acting Director Megan Scott began looking at the last drawdown and the discrepancy was found.

York started investigating the five-year period and found some parts of the invoices submitted to the grant agency would not be fully reimbursed, “and that was the problem,” she said.

Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim said the accountability problem occurred because of “how the federal government complicates paperwork.”

The commission is the fiscal agent for five other Morgan County Partnership grants that will be monitored more closely with tighter controls in place, York said.

Commission President Brenda Hutchinson said the spending discrepancy will be addressed.

“We now have better accounting controls, and checks and balances are in place so this does not happen again,” she said. “It was unfortunate, but there were good intentions on both sides, and it is being resolved.”

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