County auditor gets another clean report

LISBON — Columbiana County Auditor Nancy Milliken received her best state audit to date, with zero citations and one recommendation.

“I’m very, very happy with the results. It was a good audit and there are no (citations) and we’re currently working on the item brought up in the management letter,” she said of the 2016 routine audit of county books by the Ohio Auditor’s Office, which was released two weeks ago.

Milliken, who has been auditor since 2000, receives pretty clean state audits, but one nagging issue in recent years has been a repeat minor citation, which she described in the past as a policy disagreement they have been working to resolve.

The citation has been over the county development department’s handling of a federal grant received by county commissioners. The state requires grant recipients to disburse the money for its intended purpose within 15 days of the federal dollars being transferred to the county.

The money is used to help fund infrastructure projects, and county commissioners have said before that the unpredictable nature of contractor schedules sometimes delays the start of when actual work begins. The county chooses to pay the contractor when the work is completed, which means they sometimes hold onto the grant dollars longer than 15 days after it has been transferred if there is a project delay.

Milliken has worked with the development department to reduce the instances when this occurs, and the state audit noted the problem has been partially corrected

“It was an excellent audit, and I’m proud of everyone involved,” she said.