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Merrihew: No fuel or money missing

"She came and helped us set up accounts; specifically the capital project accounts," said Merrihew. Also, she made recommendations for how to handle budget transfers, practices for which the town was also criticized in the most recent audit.

Fuel usage

The audit also examined records pertaining to the usage of gasoline and diesel fuel and urged the town to be more careful in the way it keeps track of fuel use.

A major area of concern auditors noted were fuel usage logs at the highway department and Cobble Hill Golf Course they say failed to note amounts of fuel pumped from the tanks or the reasons for its usage.

For his part, Merrihew said that the records that were being kept were detailed enough to show a reassuring similarity between the amounts of fuel pumped into and out of each tank.

"Our records did not indicate that there was any dramatic fluctuation," Merrihew said. "We're not missing substantial amounts of fuel."

While Merrihew said steps have since been taken to keep better records of fuel usage at both sites, it does not appear the town will be making many significant changes in the way it inventories its fuel.

"Whether they will periodically check [fuel levels] with a stick, that remains to be seen," he said.

Another concern noted by auditors was an informal agreement that allowed the Elizabethtown Fire District and Elizabethtown-Lewis Ambulance Squad to use fuel from tanks at the town highway department.

"While the [highway] superintendent maintained vehicle usage logs for highway vehicles and equipment, he did not track the fuel used by the fire district or the ambulance squad," nor did the town bill the fire or ambulance squad for their usage of fuel, the report stated.

But according to Merrihew, both organizations willingly reimbursed the town each year for fuel used according to their records, which detailed fuel usage for each vehicle to the nearest whole gallon.

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