Selectmen frustrated waiting for Alna’s audit
Alna’s selectmen continued to voice frustration June 6 over the same question Wiscasset did this spring: Where is the town’s audit from William H. Brewer & Co.?
Alna selectmen said June 6, the latest the town has ever received it was mid-April, and normally it arrives in time for the annual town report in March.
“This is pretty unacceptable … I don’t know what’s going on,” Third Selectman Doug Baston said.
The Wiscasset Newspaper continues to seek comment from the accounting firm.
Selectmen and resident Ralph Hilton commented in the meeting, Wiscasset’s audit has been a lot of work due to a million-dollar school funding issue. Alna selectmen said they have talked to the firm repeatedly, and its representatives recently came to the town office and gathered more information, but the town still did not have the audit.
Earlier this spring, the lack of one held up the tax anticipation note that pays school and other bills until tax time, selectmen have said. Bath Savings later granted the TAN. And this week, the same bank gave the town a note, or credit line, up to $260,000 to cover costs for the new town office, selectmen said.
“So I think we’re going to start digging dirt pretty soon,” Baston said. Asked later, selectmen did not have a date. The town has a Maine Department of Transportation permit for the driveway, was expecting a quote from Crooker Construction for the driveway, parking lot and site excavation, and on June 7, would tap the note to pay the deposit for KBS Building Systems of South Paris to start custom-building the modular, selectmen said.
Resident Ed Pentaleri told selectmen they were fortunate to get the bank’s financing without the audit. Selectmen expect to repay the TAN through taxes and repay the latest note with funds they plan to seek from Maine Bond Bank this fall. The town needed the note as a bridge loan to start work, First Selectman Melissa Spinney said.
Also June 6, selectmen told resident and Sheepscot Valley Regional School Unit 12 community literacy team member Abby Manahan a small library could go outside the town office. The district’s new “little libraries” are going up in member towns with help from Whitefield Lions Club and other donors and volunteer labor, SVRSU 12 curriculum and technology director Deb Taylor said in a phone interview June 7. Selectmen mulled Alna General Store, which attendees noted has a book exchange. Baston said the town office, further south on Route 218, is more central and everyone goes there on business.
“If anybody has any contrary opinion, I’m sure they’ll let us know,” he said.
Hilton, a district board member-elect, suggested the library could go on posts under a street light at the town office and move to the new one when it opens.
The district will also be giving new students literacy bags with books and strategies, Taylor said.
Selectmen reminded residents, Saturday, June 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., is Alna Day at Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum on Cross Road. The event the museum and townspeople planned will have free train rides for Alna residents, a nature scavenger hunt, sack races, botball and more.
Selectmen meet next at 6 p.m. June 20 at the town office.