Accomack gives fire company 30 days to submit audit

Parksley Volunteer Fire Company has 30 days to submit a satisfactory financial audit to Accomack County or face losing around $364,000 in county funds.

The Accomack County Board of Supervisors voted 7-2 to give the volunteer fire company the deadline after it did not submit audits or other financial reports required by the county for the past three years.

Supervisors Harrison W. Phillips III and Paul Muhly voted against the measure.

Accomack policy stipulates that county funding for organizations that fail to comply with the reporting requirement within 12 months after the due date will be referred to the board of supervisors for possible reallocation of the funds.

The board adopted a policy effective July 1, 2012 that said all the county's volunteer fire companies had to report annually how they spent county funds they received.

A year later, the board adopted a second policy requiring any organization that receives $10,000 or more a year from the county to submit an audit annually.

Of more than 30 organizations affected by the policies, "the only one that is not in compliance is Parksley," said Accomack County Finance Director Mike Mason.

Phillips said the fund reallocation portion of the policy was only adopted in its current form last November.

"There was no consequence except to hold the money until 11 months ago," he said.

But Supervisor Robert Crockett, who made the motion to give the fire company 30 days to comply, said that other than Parksley, "everyone, 34, have complied." He said the county has not received any correspondence from the fire company about the matter.

"It is my understanding...they are trying to comply...Are we going to give them time?" Muhly said, adding he is not comfortable with the 30-day timeframe.

"They've had three years," replied Chairman Ron Wolff.

"I know that every fire company has a hardship getting the audit done. It can be costly...but 34 others have complied," Wolff said. The number includes other organizations in addition to fire companies.

Freddie Matthews of Parksley Vol. Fire Company was in the audience and earlier in the meeting offered to answer any questions from the board, but he was not called on during the discussion.


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