Newton Township Released From Fiscal Caution
Columbus – Newton Township in Trumbull County has regained financial stability after spending six years in a state of fiscal caution, Auditor of State Dave Yost announced today.
The township slipped into the fiscal distress status on Oct. 9, 2012, in part, because of multiple fund deficits totaling $153,001 and $147,967 as of Dec. 31, 2011, and April 30, 2012, respectively.
Significant citations in the township’s 2008-09 financial audit also contributed to the declaration. Those citations resulted from the township’s failure to submit annual financial reports to the state auditor and a failure to file budget data with the county auditor.
“A series of missteps set Newton Township on a downward spiral toward a financial crisis,” Auditor Yost said. “The community deserves credit for confronting its financial challenges head-on to bring the township back to higher ground.”
Township officials remedied the situation by implementing a financial recovery plan containing 17 steps to increase revenue and decrease spending. As of Sept. 30, 2018, all funds had positive balances and the general fund totaled $389,089. In addition, township officials addressed the shortcomings that had yielded audit citations in the 2008-09 audit.
Auditor Yost worked with the General Assembly in 2011 to add the fiscal caution designation to Ohio’s fiscal distress system. He argued that cities, counties, villages and townships should not be faced with sudden declarations of fiscal watch and fiscal emergency. Under fiscal caution, the subdivision is given earlier notice of financial concerns and an opportunity to make adjustments to avoid further difficulty.
A full copy of the fiscal caution termination is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 6,000 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.