Lincoln Township trustees open up auditing search

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

STEVENSVILLE — Lincoln Township is looking to sign an auditor to a three-year contract before the end of the fiscal year.

Clerk Stacy Loar-Porter will submit requests for proposals to various auditing firms after trustees approved the action Tuesday night.

“We do it every three years. Last year we extended the contract by one year,” Loar-Porter said. “I wasn’t prepared last year. I waited too long and realized there wasn’t enough time. So, we extended the contract so it wouldn’t put us behind in getting our audit done.”

The township’s current auditor is Scarpone & Co. of Niles – a tax preparation company the township has used for nearly three decades.

When the township sends out an RFP, Loar-Porter said they usually get three or four auditing firms to answer back with quotes. She said the township doesn’t necessarily go for the lowest bid.

“We look at whoever provides the best services and the most consistency from year to year,” Loar-Porter said. “Last time we did this, I sent out a dozen and got a quarter of them back.”

The township plans to submit RFPs for legal and engineering services in the next two years when both contracts expire.

Trustees decided to submit an RFP for the other municipal services after Trustee Marc Florian made the argument to do so.

“We seem to treat auditing services differently from other services,” he said during the clerk’s report. “We should have the same process for finding an accountant, an engineer and an attorney.”

Loar-Porter said board members can recommend auditing firms by sending her their names by email. She will then take those names – along with others who have contacted her in the past with interest in placing a bid – and send them packets concerning the township’s fiscal history.

In the past, Loar-Porter said, trustees have gone through the names and information and selected a few finalists to come in person and give a presentation. The township needs to have an auditor in place by mid-March, when the township’s fiscal year ends.

Loar-Porter said she will leave the RFP open for two to three weeks to garner interest.

Other agenda items

The board was supposed to have its first reading of the zoning amendment for motels. However, it was removed from the agenda because the Planning Commission sent it to the township’s attorney to review the language, which was deemed confusing by commissioners.

The next trustees meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the Lincoln Township Municipal Building.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 13, 2016)

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