Latest Century Audit Shows ‘Deteriorating Financial Condition; Over $4.5 Million In Fund Deficits

February 6, 2024

The Town of Century’s audit for the previous fiscal year has now been posted by the state and shows the town is again in deteriorating financial condition.

The audit, which was due June 30, 2023, had not been received and posted online by the Florida Auditor General as of December 21, 2023. Century has missed the state law mandated audit deadline every year for about a decade.

A 2019 grand jury report found gross mismanagement in the town, over a million dollars lost in utility operations, missing natural gas, about $3 million improperly borrowed from accounts with a 750-year payback plan, and a state of financial emergency. The town has never worked to follow many of  the grand jury recommendations.

According to the 2021-2022 fiscal year audit, as of September 30, 2022:

  • The Town’s overall financial condition demonstrates signs of a deteriorating financial condition described by Florida statute. Overall factors contributing to this condition include lack of short- and long-term financial planning, improper cash management activities and lack of analysis of existing tax rates and fee structures for proprietary operations. The local option sales tax revenues recorded in the special revenue fund are restricted for specific purposes; therefore, these funds will have to be repaid or it will be considered an inappropriate use of the restricted revenues. The town has experienced recurring operating deficits in the natural gas fund causing cash shortages.
  • There was a deficit of $2.7 million in the town’s general fund and $1.9 million in the natural gas fund. Both of these funds have borrowed significant amounts from other funds of the town. The general fund and natural gas fund owed the special revenue fund approximately $2.8 million and $212,000, respectively. In June 2018, the council approved a repayment plan of $300 per month for the interfund loan between the general fund and special revenue fund.
  • The town experienced the following cash management issues during the fiscal year, with inadequate funds held for customer deposits in the natural gas fund, and inadequate funds were held for required debt service reserves in the natural gas fund.
  • The town did not properly reconcile multiple general ledger accounts as of year end. The town’s general ledger accounts should be reconciled monthly to detail subsidiary ledgers, and any reconciling items be promptly investigated and adjusted, and adequate supporting documentation for the adjustments be maintained.
  • The town may have assets that have not been correctly recorded in the Town’s records, and there may be assets recorded on the Town’s records that are no longer in use or cannot be located. The town had not completed an inventory of assets on hand.
  • A list of deficiencies and problems were also identified, many repeated from previous years.

Comments

21 Responses to “Latest Century Audit Shows ‘Deteriorating Financial Condition; Over $4.5 Million In Fund Deficits”

  1. D. Flowers on February 7th, 2024 3:20 pm

    JJ. Doubt there were any fingers in the till. Maybe coal shovels, though.

  2. JJ on February 7th, 2024 1:22 am

    How manyfingers in the till to remove $4.5 MILLS
    no namecalling, just a thought

  3. Angela on February 7th, 2024 12:21 am

    A.W comment is correct. It has been over 30 years of misuse! The team players are gone. The torch passed many times. The one coming in covers the previous corruption. Moves money around to where it needs to be at the needed time knowing it belongs somewhere else. When the torch was passed to someone who didn’t want to play the game or couldn’t coverup any longer, the stuff hit the fan! Yes we need to go back to previous mayors around the years of 1995 to present. Follow the money. I’ve been screaming this for years.

  4. dave lamb on February 6th, 2024 8:51 pm

    Stand by for the next segment of the oap…. As Century Burns. Sponsored by William.
    Honestly William is doing a good job.

  5. chris on February 6th, 2024 7:29 pm

    “there may be assets recorded on the Town’s records that are no longer in use or cannot be located.” wow what a shocking revelation.

  6. same ol same ol on February 6th, 2024 5:38 pm

    the story so far…in Florida’s version of Prichard AL

    1 – state begins road work on 29 to last @ 2 months
    2 – found “off the books water main delaying completion until….SIP
    3 – mayor resigns (retires?)
    4 – council appoints mayor (from council).
    5 – mayor accepts appointment while asserting he is unqualified.
    6 – mayor hires someone to do his job.
    7 – millions of missing or mismanaged funds brought to light.

    Stay tuned for …malfeasance/misfeasance lawsuits

  7. IMO on February 6th, 2024 5:24 pm

    What accounting firm is responsible for all of this and allowed it to keep happening as I know there is no accountant at the town?

  8. just a fact on February 6th, 2024 5:00 pm

    Why would anyone expect anything different from Century’s counsel?

  9. OhYouKnow on February 6th, 2024 4:25 pm

    Why hasn’t anyone been jailed? Loans with a 750 year payback…? Name the people who got those loans.

  10. tax payer on February 6th, 2024 12:17 pm

    THE TOWN IS BANKRUPT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. bob on February 6th, 2024 11:26 am

    I would hate to see the City of Century dissolved – it’s such a source of entertainment and humor!!!

    Just kidding – shut them down yesterday!!!

  12. Greg Stewart on February 6th, 2024 10:54 am

    This town has been circling the drain for a significant period of time. Anyone at the state and county level listening? The county needs to come up with a plan to absorb this mess on short notice. With respect to the council itself, any responsible ethical citizen would avoid membership on this board. These folks still have time to salvage their personal integrity, resign!
    With respect to the audit, why do they continue to get a pass on incompetence? If they start right now, they can make the June 2024 timeline. Don’t hold your breath.

  13. Willis on February 6th, 2024 10:49 am

    AND ??

  14. Rusty Shakleford on February 6th, 2024 10:29 am

    So it says the fiscal year audit deadline has been missed the last 10 years. Does this mean there are audits out there or just did not file them? I’d be going back to what is on record and attempt to find the beginnings of misappropriation of funds. If no audits to look at the state is at fault for no due diligence and repercussions enforced. Previous administrations need to be looked into also. People need to go to jail. I’m sure there are intelligent folks within the city limits who know what they are doing and will take the reigns once this is straightened out? If not, then remove the charter and stop waisting taxpayer money. What a cluster.

  15. M in Bratt on February 6th, 2024 9:55 am

    It is a basic rule of deception that if you keep the water muddy enough, nobody can see what is really going on beneath the surface. The only way to see what has really gone on with the finances of this town is for the State, or the District Attorney to do an in-depth audit and see where all this money is going. In the meantime I would hope that the State would put handing them any more grant money on hold.

    In the meantime, maybe a group of citizens could organize into a “Shut TOC Down” committee and go to the Governor and Legislature and ask them to revoke the town charter so the community of Century can move forward again instead of this continuous backward direction. I don’t think that a few more state funded community centers will accomplish anything.

  16. Local on February 6th, 2024 9:36 am

    So, what’s gonna be done about it?

  17. SW on February 6th, 2024 7:17 am

    Incompetence and shenanigans.

    It seems to never end.

  18. A.W. Thompson on February 6th, 2024 6:11 am

    All those gravy train jobs are about to come to an end at the bank of Centwee.It has been that run over dog running in circles for years that don’t even know its dead yet.When all the truth is finally brought out millions and millions will be unaccounted for.There’s been well over thirty years of bad,immoral and illelegal activities going on in this town and the one across the line.A.W.Thompson.

  19. Hmmm on February 6th, 2024 3:34 am

    Well, this was before the Gomez takeover, and his hiring of the firm at $7,500 a month to do basic town stuff. I’m sure that all those problems are fixed now, all the missing assets have been found, the money is flowing in and the next audit will be perfect.

  20. IMHO on February 6th, 2024 2:51 am

    I suppose the Attorney General and the Grand Jury don’t know what they’re talking about either.

  21. Frank on February 6th, 2024 1:55 am

    Maybe they could sell some excess property to some friends since there evidently doesn’t have to be competitive bidding. What ever came of that story?





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