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Board Discusses City Audit, Sidewalks



The city of Ste. Genevieve once again received a clean financial audit.

Jeffrey Stroder of Beussink, Hey, Roe & Stroder LLC of Cape Girardeau gave the city’s audit report during last Thursday’s board of aldermen meeting.

The city had used this firm for its audits for more than 10 years, until a lower bid in the fall of 2019 led it to go with Hochschild, Bloom & Company of Washington, Mo. When that firm raised its rates last year, that opened the door for Beussink, Hey, Roe & Stroder to compete for and win the job again.

Stroder said that there had just been one minor blemish in the audit. It had to do with a couple of checks, totaling about $80,000, that had to be voided and reissued. The timing of the reissued checks recording was incorrect, he said. Stroder said that in the past, this could just be corrected. Now, under new rules, it has to be counted as a deficiency.

Overall, though, he found the city’s internal controls to be effective. He also praised the city hall staff for being “professional” and very helpful during the audit.


One item of City Administrator Happy Welch’s and Community Development Administrator David Bova’s reports led to a debate.

Sidewalk repair notices have gone out to property owners whose sidewalks were found to need repair. If the repairs are not done, the city will make the repairs and place a lien on the property until it is paid.

Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan expressed concern with the approach the city was taking with the property owners.

“If we cite somebody for a violation, are we detailed with the, telling them exactly what’s the matter, furnishing photographs?” he asked.

David Bova, community development administrator, said they tell which side of a lot the issue is on and that they often receive calls asking for clarification. “I think it would be to our advantage if we can provide something of what is in violation in detail,” Donovan said.

“Do we offer them anything at the time, as far as solutions?”

Bova said the letters are only going out if the property as changed ownership in the past year. The owner is informed that the city has adopted a sidewalk reimbursement program, in which it will reimburse a property owner for part of the expense of repairing or replacing a sidewalk, up to $750.

Donovan also expressed concern that the term “lien” might unduly frighten residents.