Londonderry report on impact fee audit due soon
This week, town officials said a detailed report of the audit results would soon be made public as the process is just about near completion.
“We’ve just about reached the end of the process,” Hart told the council.
Former Town Manager David Caron resigned a year ago, with Council Chairman John Farrell saying at the time that Caron was on a leave of absence due to a family emergency, and while he was away, matters about the way the town collects the impact fees came to light.
Since then, the fee monies have since been returned to the developers and owners.
In January, the town hired Melanson Heath & Company PC to complete an audit of the town’s fee collection history after receiving orders to do so by a Rockingham County Superior Court judge.
Finance Director Susan Hickey said there’s always room for improvement, particularly when it comes to keeping track of department spending.
“It’s a cumbersome tool, and honestly there’s a lot of room for error there,” she said. “As we move forward, we should maybe look at either switching to an Access database or adopt some other type of new software.”
Town officials noted that most municipal departments are tasked with budgeting their own monthly finances, though some of the larger departments, such as police and fire, do so on a weekly basis.
“The question is, where do we go from here,” he said. “What personnel mechanism do we put in place to make sure we meet statutory requirements, defray taxpayer costs and return monies to their rightful owners when necessary?”
“Before this happened, we had no one who acted as a centralized authority; there was nobody saying, ‘This needs to be done now’,” he said. “I’m thinking that person might not be the town manager or the finance director because what we’re doing is an immense task.”
“What I’d hope to see is some type of planning person devoted to managing all our escrow and impact fees,” he said.
“Our risk is significantly lower than it was last year, but risk always exists,” Hart replied.
Council Chairman Tom Dolan said he was eager to put the past year behind him and look toward the future.
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