City delays decision on 2011, 2012 audits

Published 11:30 am Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Concern about a bill of more than $300,000 for the 2011 and 2012 audits forced the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday to delay a decision on a proposal by a Memphis company.

The accounting firm of Booker T. Camper has contracts to complete the city’s 2009 and 2010 audits at a cost of $91,667 per audit. It recently completed the city’s 2009 audit and is working on the 2010 audit.

On April 27 it sent the city an offer to complete the 2011 and 2012 audits for fees not to exceed $350,000, or $175,000 per audit.

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Mayor Paul Winfield said the board will discuss the proposal at the next meeting.

“We need more time to look at this. We want to see a reduction in fees,” he said. “That is too high for an audit like this, and we’re going to get with them and talk about it.”

“There were several issues, but money was the main point of contention,” North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said.

The offer says Camper would begin work on the audits June 1. The 2011 audit will be completed by Oct. 31, and the 2012 audit by Dec. 31.

“I would like to see them get these audits out quicker,” Mayfield said.

The board hired Camper in February to complete the 2009 audit, which was presented to the board on May 7. The 2010 audit is expected by the end of the month, Winfield said.

In another matter, the board delayed its decision on an appeal by Roosevelt Cooper of a decision by the Board of Zoning Appeals until its meeting Friday.

The zoning board on April 3 denied Cooper’s request for a variance to the parking requirements under the city’s zoning ordinance because he failed to show how he would handle off-site parking.

Cooper, 1114 Fayette St., wants to open a center for visual and performing arts, dance hall, community learning center, specialty school, indoor recreation, eatery and participant sports at the building at Clay and Fifth North streets, which is in a C-4 commercial zone.

Winfield, Mayfield and South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman said they wanted more time to research the issue.