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City of Lanett audit shows continued improvement

LANETT — On Monday, the City of Lanett received one of the best audits it has gotten in a number of years. Phillip Morgan of Phillip Morgan & Company, P.C., Certified Public Accountants, Birmingham, Alabama was present at the city council meeting to discuss the findings for fiscal year 2016-17, which ended on Sept. 30, 2017.

“It went very well,” he said. “It was a good, clean one with no significant difficulties.”

He commended City Clerk Deborah Gilbert and Treasurer Kelly Walton on having done very good work in keeping the books.

“The internal control rules are being followed,” Morgan said. “Deborah and Kelly are doing very good work in keeping them in order.”

The city’s net position increased by more than $1.5 million in the fiscal year, ending at just under $1.7 million. A significant factor that contributed to this were the federal capital grants the city was awarded for the airport and street projects. The refinancing of a warrant issue helped, too.

“There has been a very good year-to-year improvement,” Morgan said.

The city’s long-term debt rose from $16 million to $17 million.

“All in all it was a very good audit,” Morgan said. “There were no new findings. The only one we cited is one that’s been carried over for several years and it’s because of the way the computer system sets it up.”

Mayor Kyle McCoy was most pleased with the report. “It’s good that we have improved our position,” he said. “We appreciate the work being done by Deborah and Kelly.”

Narfunda Ross thanked the council for its support of Team WHIP and its efforts to promote breast cancer awareness. WHIP, or Working to Help those In Pink, hosted a Mardi Gras for Ta-Tas event on the W.O. Lance playground on June 29.

“It was a very successful event,” Ross said. “The vendors helped us generate a nice crowd. The bloodmobile was there, as well as representatives of EAMC-Lanier Hospital. We want to educate both men and women about breast cancer and what to look for.”

“We thank you and your organization for doing this in the local community,”   McCoy said. “If you need our support, all you have to do is ask.”

Ross said that Team WHIP would be having a cancer benefit walk this October.

“We will let everyone know well in advance of when and where we will be doing it,” she said. “The main thing we want to get across is that exercise is important in cancer prevention. We’d like to have everyone  doing it.”

Council Member Tony Malone read aloud a mayor’s proclamation recognizing Tuesday, Aug. 7 as James “Boomer” Harris Day in Lanett. Harris is a Lanett native and Lanett High graduate. He led the Panthers to a state championship in track his senior year and then went on to star in track and field at Mississippi State and Florida State. During his collegiate career he set a school record in the high jump at seven feet, seven inches.

He earned a degree in Communications at Florida State and is now living in the Atlanta area, where he is training under Garfield Ellenwood and the EAI Track Club.

His future plans include opening an agency for athletes and entertainers and to be involved in music production.”

“Growing up in Lanett prepared me for the world,” Harris said. “I’ve always been proud to represent Lanett wherever I go.”

Council Member Angelia Thomas reported that things had gone well at a recent West Shawmut Day and that she was pleased to learn that the Chambers County Commission had renamed Magnolia Road in West Shawmut in memory of Ross Dunn.

The bridge over Moore’s Creek in West Shawmut was previously named for Alfred Lyons.

Thomas said she hoped someone from the Lanett Recreation Department would be at the next council meeting to talk about plans for youth recreation this fall.