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Village of Bridgeport Placed in Fiscal Emergency
Columbus – Auditor of State Dave Yost today placed the Village of Bridgeport in a state of fiscal emergency after the village defaulted on outstanding debts.
An analysis performed by the Auditor’s Local Government Services Section found the Belmont County village failed to make semi-annual payments on loans from the Ohio Water Development Authority and the Ohio Public Works Commission. The missed payments total $90,636.
In May, Auditor Yost labeled the village “unauditable” because of its incomplete financial records and bank reconciliations. Due to the current state of Bridgeport’s records, the analysis was unable to determine if the village meets three other criteria that can signal a fiscal emergency: a treasury deficiency, deficit fund balances and past due accounts payable.
“These records are in such disarray that it’s impossible to fully evaluate the village’s financial standing,” Auditor Yost said. “This declaration of fiscal emergency will provide Bridgeport officials with much-needed resources and will be the kick-start needed to help them get their finances moving in the right direction.”
The village of 1,831 people will now come under the oversight of a financial planning and supervision commission. Within 120 days of its first meeting, the commission must develop a plan to eliminate the fiscal emergency conditions. The Auditor of State serves as the “financial supervisor” to the commission.
A village is placed in fiscal emergency if any one of the six conditions described in Section 118.03 of the Ohio Revised Code exists. The six conditions are:
- Default on a debt obligation;
- Failure to make payment of all payroll;
- An increase in the minimum levy of the village which results in the reduction in the minimum levy of another subdivision;
- Significant past due accounts payable;
- Substantial deficit balances in village funds; and
- A sizeable deficiency when the village’s treasury balance is compared to the positive cash balances of the village’s funds.
A full copy of this fiscal emergency declaration 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.