MUNCIE, Ind. — A recent state audit completed by the Indiana State Board of Accounts reveals the Muncie city government has multiple accounts that are overdrawn by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The audit found a total of six accounts are overdrawn by $700,000. But the mayor says that’s only temporary and there is no reason to worry about the city’s financial status.
“All of it’s being rectified,” said Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler.
Tyler says pending reimbursements from grants sent accounts into overdraft and the city is currently waiting for re-payment.
“Grants you always have to pay before you get reimbursed. Then there’s always a timeline on when you get reimbursed. That’s just the way government works. That’s why 90 percent of the time we are always running into arrears,” said Mayor Tyler.
The city controller Kevin Nemyer agrees that overdrawn accounts are normal in these instances.
“You spend city money then you turn in your receipts your invoices and you’re reimbursed. And the way they always operate in that position of being overdrawn for a while,” said Nemyer.
The overdrawn accounts include the local road and street account, hardest hit funds and community offices.
Tyler says there wasn’t anything department heads were doing that was inappropriate. He says the road and streets account is a dollar-for-dollar matching grant that equals up to $4 million.
The audit also states the Center Township Fire Protection Fund also known as Fund 104 was misused along with some credit cards.
Mayor Tyler admits he used a company card for purchases that were not authorized that he didn’t know beforehand. He says he’s since handled that debt.
“I believe that my department has worked extremely hard to manage their budgets and maintain their budgets accordingly,” said Tyler.
The audit also found Fund 104 was misused, causing some to think the new Muncie EMS service was part of the problem. The city says it’s all part of an appropriation process.
“Right now when there’s still some reimbursement money out there, it makes it appear we don’t have the money. But we’re going to get it. Sometimes it’s a matter of a week, sometimes it’s a matter of months,” said Nemyer.
Again, there is no exact timeline of when these accounts will no longer be in the negatives. However, the city controller says it must happen by the beginning of the fiscal year.