The City of Elkins is mourning the passing of Doris Williams, a long-serving city employee who died this week.
Ms. Williams was a revenue clerk in the City Treasurer’s Department for more than 20 years. She was hired in 1993 and retired in 2013.
“I had the great pleasure of working with her for almost two years,” says Tracy Judy, the city treasurer. “She was an extremely kind person to anyone she met and would do anything for anyone. Those who knew her will miss the caring person she was.”
The City of Elkins is grateful for Ms. Williams’s long and faithful service.
Her funeral, for which arrangements are not yet complete, will be handled by the Tomblyn Funeral Home. View Ms. Williams’s tribute page and other information on the Tomblyn website.
City Has Received “Unmodified” Audit Opinions Every Year Since 2012
Elkins W. Va., February 19, 2021: At last night’s council meeting, Elkins Treasurer Tracy Judy reported that the city received a clean bill of financial health on its annual audit. State law requires West Virginia cities to undergo yearly audits. This audit, which examined financial records from the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2020, was performed by accountants working for BHM CPA Group, an Ohio-based public accounting firm with offices in Huntington, West Virginia.
The purpose of a municipal audit is to verify the city’s financial position as described on its annual financial statements. Auditors determine the accuracy of these statements by reviewing the city’s accounting procedures and examining financial records related to revenues and expenditures, grant administration, bank accounts, and more. Auditors also evaluate the city’s fraud-prevention safeguards and compliance with state law and government accounting standards.
Judy reported that auditors gave the city high marks.
“We received our ninth unmodified opinion in a row,” she said. “That means the auditors didn’t find any discrepancies or areas of concern.”
Sometimes also referred to as an “unqualified” or “clean” opinion, an unmodified opinion is the best result an audit can return because it indicates that auditors have found no misrepresentations of fact or failures to follow appropriate accounting standards. As Judy mentioned, Elkins has received unmodified opinions in each of its annual audits since the fiscal year ending in 2012.
The audit process begins each summer with a letter from the state auditor authorizing the procurement of an audit and providing a list of approved accounting firms. The city’s Audit Committee then solicits and evaluates proposals from at least three firms on this list. The evaluation process uses a score sheet published by the state auditor to assign points to the firms that submit proposals. Per the state auditor, the firm with the highest score must then be selected to perform the city’s audit.
Next, the selected firm receives the city’s financial statements, which are published each fall. The firm examines these statements carefully and uses them to devise an audit plan, including questions to be answered and tests to be performed.
Some of these questions are answered through correspondence and phone calls. Then, usually in January, the firm sends a team of accountants to visit city hall. Over the course of about a week, these accountants request records and interview staff members. One of this team’s tasks is the random sampling of transactions from the year under review, to ensure that the proper authorization, execution, and accounting records can be produced on demand.
Several weeks after this on-site visit concludes, the firm transmits the results of the audit to council.
“Receiving an unmodified opinion confirms that our daily procedures are correct, which is important for both councilors and the public to know,” says Judy. “I’m proud of the hard, careful work my team puts into safeguarding public funds.”
(Photo credit: www.401kcalculator.org)
Elkins, W. Va., January 28, 2021: On Monday, City of Elkins contractors will kick off two major infrastructure projects. Bear Contracting will begin Phase II of the city’s sewer/stormwater separation project, and Newman Plumbing will begin replacing remote-read water meters for all city water utility customers.
The sewer/stormwater separation project is the second phase of sewer-system improvements Elkins is required to implement under a 2011 consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The goal of this project is to reduce the number of combined sewer/stormwater pipes in Elkins, so that sudden downpours are less likely to overwhelm the sewer system’s capacity and cause overflows of untreated sewage to the Tygart Valley River.
In the phase of the sewer/stormwater project commencing Monday, crews will eventually excavate sections of 15 city streets and alleys in the neighborhood west of Wimer Field to install new, dedicated stormwater lines and related infrastructure components, such as manholes and catch basins.
The first street that will be excavated is Railroad Avenue, starting where it dead ends against the south bank of the Tygart Valley River, near Kelly Foundry.
This project, which is funded by a $4.9 million bond issue, will not result in any additional increase in sewer rates. More information about this project, including a list and map of the affected streets, can be found here: www.bit.ly/Phase2Sewer.
The water-meter project will replace the remote-read meters currently in use by the city’s approximately 4,200 water customers. These water meters are five years past warranty coverage, and about 1,300 have already failed. The opportunity to replace these water meters arose when aggressive costsaving measures during the 2016 water plant construction project spared the necessary $1.5 million. As a result, this project will not result in any increase in water rates. More information about this project can be found here: www.bit.ly/ElkinsWaterMeters
The impact of the water-meter replacement project, which must be completed by September, is projected by the contractor to be minor for most customers, involving only about 15 minutes’ disruption of water service per meter. The impacts of the sewer/stormwater separation project will vary by street but can be expected to include changes to traffic and parking patterns and the presence of heavy equipment; this project is not projected to disrupt any customer’s sewer service, however.
To stay current on information about these and other projects, as well as city news and safety alerts, please follow City of Elkins on one or more of the following communication channels:
- Website: cityofelkinswv.com
- Nixle (text messages): bit.ly/ElkinsNixle
- Facebook: facebook.com/ElkinsCityHall
- Twitter: twitter.com/ElkinsCityHall
- Newsletter: cityofelkinswv.com/newsletter-signup
In observance of Thanksgiving, Elkins City Hall will be closed Thursday and Friday (11/26-27).
During the week of Thanksgiving, there will be no garbage collection on Monday (11/23) or Thursday (11/26).
Garbage normally collected Mondays will be collected starting at 6 a.m. on Sunday (11/22).
Garbage normally collected Thursdays will be collected starting at 6 a.m. on Wednesday (11/25).
Garbage normally collected Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays will be collected on the regular schedule.
The next Elkins Municipal Election occurs March 2, 2021. On that date, Elkins voters will elect a mayor and five council members, one from each of the city’s five wards.
Candidates for council and mayor may file their candidacies at Elkins City Hall November 2-20. Anyone interested in filing should meet in person with the city clerk to ensure the correct paperwork is completed. Please call to make an appointment: (304) 636-1414, ext. 1211. (more…)
Leaf pick up begins Monday, October 19, 2020 and continues for the rest of the fall, until either all leaves have been collected or snow has started falling. (more…)
Shutoffs Had Been Suspended Since March
Elkins, W. Va., July 29, 2020: City of Elkins water and sewer utilities will recommence shutting off service for unpaid bills starting Wednesday, August 5, officials announced today. The city suspended shutoffs in March on the recommendation of the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC). (more…)