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January 28, 2013

New Albany bicentennial board to use private bookkeeper

Records and expenditures questioned for 2012 event

NEW ALBANY — The New Albany Bicentennial Commission will likely begin using a private accounting firm to handle its financial record keeping, as there have been claims that some of the revenue from events related to the city’s 200th anniversary weren’t properly documented. 

The event in question doesn’t involve any of the public funding provided by the New Albany City Council last year, nor does there appear to be any money missing, bicentennial officials said Friday. 

Still, the firm Rodefer Moss and Co. could be approved by the commission as early as today to begin keeping track of financial records. Councilman and commission Co-Chair Bob Caesar said the company is experienced in dealing with nonprofit entities. 

“All of the bookkeeping will be turned over to Rodefer Moss because there’s public funds involved now,” Caesar said. 

To date, financial records have been maintained by the commission’s treasurer, Vic Megenity. If an official bicentennial event is held, the organizers are to keep receipts for expenditures and present them to the treasurer along with the proceeds in order to comply with nonprofit regulations. 

However during a meeting last week, allegations arose over the records and financial collections from the Stories Behind the Stones event held in September at Fairview Cemetery. 

According to officials, 300 tickets were sold for the event for $10 each, which meant $3,000 should have been collected. An envelope with $1,100 in checks, $8.34 in cash and a note citing $1,700 in credit card payments were accepted was turned in to the commission and Megenity. 

The event was organized by Barbara Zoller, vice-chair of the commission. The $1,700 in credit card transactions hasn’t been turned into the commission. However, Zoller said Friday the money has been used for reserving venues and other events associated with the bicentennial celebration. 

Zoller was appointed to the board in 2009 by Mayor Jeff Gahan when he was serving as city council president. She served a term as chair of the body, and started the Living History Committee to coincide with the commission. 

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