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Unable to reconcile accounts since May 2021, the city of Dilley’s 2020-21 fiscal audit remains out of compliance with state guidelines for municipalities.
According to Interim City Administrator Juanita Fonseca, the auditing firm has received all of the city’s financial paperwork but, due to an apparent lack of bookkeeping, auditors cannot close their examination of the city’s books for 2020-21.
“The utility accounts have not been reconciled since May 2021,” Fonseca said. “The books have not been worked on in a year.”
Long-serving finance director Irma Rodriguez retired from the city last December. Fonesca was appointed to the interim city manager position in April.
Fonseca said the auditors provided recommendations that included hiring a certified public accountant as a consultant or having her take a training course.
“This is not something you can learn in two or three weeks,” Councilor Rudy Alvarez said. “This puts us in a big bind. It affects everything, especially grants.”
The interim city administrator acknowledged her understanding of the city’s position with a past-due audit and the repercussions it could have with current and potential grant funding. She said she had reached out to the municipal advisory council for guidance and assistance with financial documentation required for a current project funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“I have been telling council for a while we need to hire for the position,” Fonseca said. “It is out there [the job posting]. There is just no interest.”
Section 103.003 of the Local Government Code says, “the annual financial statement, including the auditor’s opinion on the statement, shall be filed in the office of the municipal secretary or clerk within 180 days after the last day of the municipality’s fiscal year.”
The audit was due by March.
“I know a consultant but it will be expensive,” Alvarez said. “You are looking at a hundred dollars an hour. It is going to be hard to create a new budget without knowing information from this year.”