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Performance Audit Identifies $253,000 in Potential Savings for Bellefontaine
Columbus – Cutting down on unnecessary water loss could help save the City of Bellefontaine (Logan County) as much as $253,000, according to a performance audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost. The city requested the audit to look for efficiencies and savings in the areas of utility billing and water/wastewater operations.
“By taking this closer look at their operations, the city can bring significant savings to Bellefontaine’s residents,” Auditor Yost said. “These results exemplify the best of what performance audits can provide.”
“The performance audit process was a long road, but we are excited for these results that show the benefits of our past decisions and that these results line up very well with our future plans,” Bellefontaine Mayor Adam Brannon said.
The bulk of the city’s potential savings come in the form of replacing water meters in city-owned buildings and installing meters on unmetered city property to track and report accurate water loss amounts. The city’s water lost rate was estimated at 29.2%, warranting corrective action. By properly tracking water loss, Bellefontaine officials can gauge the effectiveness of its water system, decrease water loss and save approximately $193,000. In addition, the report recommends the city update its laws to hold property owners liable for water and wastewater bills and allow a lien to be placed on property when bills are delinquent.
Additional savings of $40,364 could be obtained by eliminating one full-time utility billing clerical position to bring staffing levels in line with peer cities. Per the city, it is considering eliminating one meter reader position and reassigning the meter reader as a service position to provide other services not previously addressed by the city. Doing so could save the city approximately $50,800. Another $20,300 in potential savings could be attained by reducing overtime expenditures to less than 1.2% of total compensation.
A full copy of this performance audit may be accessed online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.