Columbus - Potential recurring savings of more than $3 million were recommended in the performance audit of the City of Mansfield released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost. Comparing the audit cost of approximately $113,000 in state funds to the savings identified in the report, the possible return on investment for this performance audit is $29.70 for every dollar spent to audit.
“If the City of Mansfield follows these recommendations, it will be their road out of fiscal emergency,” Auditor Yost said.
The Auditor of State declared the City of Mansfield to be in a state of fiscal emergency on August 19, 2010. According to the Ohio Revised Code, the Auditor of State may provide technical assistance and support services to entities in fiscal emergency, thus the performance audit was initiated. Based on a review of information and discussions with city officials, the scope of the performance audit included strategic and financial management, the police and communication center, fire department, and municipal court.
The audit report recommends that the city consider working with the county to consolidate its dispatch operations. Such consolidations could yield $230,000 in annual savings for the City of Mansfield. Reaching out to surrounding counties to study the possibility of a regional dispatch operation was also recommended.
Changes to the city’s health insurance program could add up to as much as $767,000 in savings annually. For example, co-pays for office visits could be added, as well as increasing the employee contributions to monthly premiums. By discontinuing the practice of paying employees’ retirement contribution for AFSCME and police staff, the City of Mansfield could save an additional $678,000 annually.
Also recommended was the replacement of traffic signals and street lights with LED fixtures. Energy and maintenance savings could reach $34,000 annually, a 5% decrease in energy costs.
The City of Mansfield, located in Richland County, has a population of 48,721, according to the 2010 census.
A full copy of this performance audit can be found online.
The Auditor of State’s office,
one of five independently elected offices in Ohio, is responsible for
auditing more than 5,600 state and local government agencies. Under the
direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial
services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public
agencies and promotes transparency in government.