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City of Marshfield Under Scrutiny After 'Poor' Audit Rating

MARSHFIELD, Mo. -- The audit happened when nearly 500 people signed a petition to compel State Auditor Thomas Schweich to scrutinize the city. Schweich says the city is lax in utility billing practices, accounting for money and following state law.
MARSHFIELD, Mo. -- The City of Marshfield is under scrutiny after a state audit leaves the city with a "poor" rating.

The audit happened when nearly 500 people signed a petition to compel State Auditor Thomas Schweich to scrutinize the city. Schweich says the city is lax in utility billing practices, accounting for money and following state law.

Among other things, Schweich says the city's general fund quote plummeted from $1.4 million in 2008 to just $200,000 in 2012. He says the Marshfield Board of Aldermen was apparently unaware of the severity of the decline, and the city has paid $50,000 for a comprehensive plan that remains incomplete.

The city's generosity is also drawing scrutiny. Schweich says the city entered into a 10-year lease on a property with a non-profit for just a dollar a year and that included utilities. Other properties are being held for other non-profits, according to the auditor. He says, "considering the city's poor financial condition," the city needs to examine this practice.

In one month in 2012, the city pumped nearly 7 million more gallons of water than it billed customers for.

The city also has not published a semi-annual financial statement as require by state law for at least 3 years.
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