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Indian Hills board developing financial accountability plan

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By Sandy Barnes

To ensure transparency and accountability in its financial transactions, the board of the Indian Hills Fire Protection District is establishing policies for employees and its members.

According to a draft of purchasing and financial policies reviewed at the June 25 board meeting, Fire Chief Emery Carson would need to receive approval from the board for any expenditure over $2,500. And credit cards would be issued only to Carson, the office manager for the fire district and the treasurer of the board. Also, credit cards would not be used for any personal purchases.

For purchases under $2,500, verbal approval from by an employee supervisor would be required.

“Everything should be a two-person control,” said Scott Kellar, president of the Indian Hills board.

Hard copies of receipts for credit card purchases would be given to the district bookkeeper for monthly financial review by the board.

Also, fire district bank accounts would only be opened, changed or closed jointly by the board treasurer or board president, the draft of the financial and purchasing policies states.

The Indian Hills fire board decided to create a financial policy in response to a recent incident in which former Inter-Canyon fire chief David MacBean embezzled $647,000 in funds from his district. MacBean has pleaded guilty to three counts in the theft of the funds and is awaiting sentencing on Aug. 1.

The fire board is expected to vote on the financial policy at the July meeting.

 

Slash collection update

During the June 25 board meeting, Indian Hills resident Brett Roller gave the fire board an update on a program for slash collection in Jefferson County, which would include a site in Indian Hills. The program would provide affordable slash collection for residents at 26 sites in the county.

“We would try to decrease prices and end up with a sustainable program,” said Roller, who has been working on the initiative with Jeffco Commissioner Don Rosier.

Jeffco would offer wholesale tickets for residents to bring unlimited quantities of slash to the sites, Roller said. The slash would be ground into usable material at the sites with equipment and operators the county would provide.

According to the plan, the county would offer slash collection one time per season for each community it serves. However, residents could use nearby sites that are not in their communities, Roller said.

“We need to spend money on slash collection, and not fires,” said fire board member Paul Pettit.

Last year, the Indian Hills fire district spent $17,000 on its own slash collection program for residents after budgeting $5,000, Kellar noted. In this year’s budget, there is another $5,000 line item for slash collection.

 

Contact Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com.