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State Auditor Returns to Bolivar Following "Poor" Rating

BOLIVAR, Mo. -- The residents of Bolivar had concerns about their city's management.
BOLIVAR, Mo. -- The residents of Bolivar had concerns about their city's management.

So in 2013 the public asked the state auditor to run through the records, going back to 2008.

And the result of that request was a 50 page report given to the public in December outlining all the ways the city went wrong.

"You've got serious financial problems, there was just bad financial planning for several years," State Auditor Thomas Schweich said in December.
 
In a meeting last December, residents like Chris Green learned just how deep the problems ran.

"It was eye opening for people in Bolivar," Green said.

Issues included misuse of restricted funds, poor budgeting, and an aquatic center that cost millions more than anticipated.

The city was given three months to begin turning things around.

City Administrator Darin Chappell believes they're on the right track.

"We anticipate a good report Friday," he said.

He said the city's credit rating has been upgraded.

"We're actually rated as an A+ community now by Standard and Poor's. It's just recognizing that our financial situation is by far better than it was two years ago," Chappell said.

And he said an independent audit last month also showed progress.

"They took a look at our financials and we received the highest marks possible," he said.

But residents are holding their enthusiasm for the state auditor's official report Friday.

That follow up meeting with the state auditor will be at the Bolivar Safety Center Friday morning at 11.
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