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Published: Wednesday, 7/12/2006

State auditors cite village for financial errors

PAYNE, Ohio - State auditors have issued a finding for recovery of $284 for the Paulding County village of Payne for its failure to collect the additional $4 in court costs that state lawmakers imposed nearly three years ago.

The village mayor's court continued to collect $11 per traffic offense after the state raised the figure to $15 on Sept. 26, 2003. That money is to be sent to the state treasurer's office.

The mayor's court had 71 cases in 2005 and 2004.

The village of 1,244, about 85 miles southwest of Toledo, paid $334 to the state, which Mayor Nancy Speice said yesterday represents the arrearage due for 2006 as well.

"We're paid up through 2005, and went ahead and paid up front as well," she said.

The state also cited the village for noncompliance for issuing contracts or ordering money to be spent without first attaching a certificate showing that the money was "lawfully appropriated" and in the bank, or in the process of being collected.

In addition, the state said the village's appropriations exceeded the amount of money available for spending in that area.

The fund in question involved money for emergency medical services.

The mayor said the citation did not involve overspending. The finding said the village reconciled its accounts at the end of the year, instead of adjusting them periodically through the year to ensure it did not exceed its income.

"We did not spend more than we had," the mayor said.

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