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County discusses financial audit, courthouse extension

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The McKinley County Board of Commissioners heard a presentation about their FY19 annual financial audit report by the Albuquerque-based accounting firm Hinkle and Landers, PC during their Feb. 4 meeting.

Finance Director Sara Saucedo said the county received a good audit, or an unmodified opinion, which means all of the county’s financial information for that fiscal year is materially correct.

Saucedo spoke about two resolutions, one of which was the audit presentation where Farley Vener, President and Managing Shareholder of Hinkle and Landers, called in.

The presentation showed McKinley County’s accounting practices were consistent, and there were no proposed audit adjustments or any adjustments made by Hinkle and Landers. There were also no significant difficulties with performing the audit, and the results showed a steady increase in the county’s revenue and assets over the past six years.

The county commissioners voted to approve the report with a 3-0 vote.

“Congrats to the county [on the audit],” Commissioner Bill Lee said.

The second resolution involves three change orders for the courthouse extension that total $118,000 for soil sampling, three detector check valves, and relocating a pipe from underground to aboveground.

Facilities Management Director Darrell Jimson explained why these change orders were not included in the original bid. For one, the construction firm, NCA Architects from Albuquerque, does not conduct soil sampling during the first phase of the project.

“Upon review and inspections, the current detector check valves were obsolete,” Jimson said. “We saw we should probably get them replaced.”

As for the pipe relocation, Jimson said they found the pipe had been leaking for some time. Having the waterline above land would make it easier to identify issues with leaks.

Lee said the county should take steps to designate potential issues that would require change orders ahead of time, lest they end up appearing later and costing the county additional funds.

“It’s another reason to be more proactive on hiring people who understand our area,” Lee said.

By Cody Begaye
Sun Correspondent