State audit finds that St. Louis suburb mismanaged money

BEL-RIDGE, Mo. (AP) — A scathing state audit has found that a struggling St. Louis suburb mismanaged money and failed to comply with a state law that guarantees public access to meetings and records.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway gave the city of Bel-Ridge a rare rating of “poor,” the lowest possible. Her office initiated the audit after Bel-Ridge residents petitioned for one, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The city of 2,700 people is located in north St. Louis County.

The findings included that the city’s Board of Aldermen is not adequately monitoring the community’s financial condition, allowing the balance of a fund that is used for most of the city’s financial activity to decline from a surplus of more than $500,000 at the end of 2015 to a deficit of more than $600,000 at the end of 2018.

Because of the scope of the problems, Galloway said, her office would conduct a follow-up review to determine if the problems had been fixed.

The city said it was grateful for the audit and that its current administration includes some of the people who had requested it.

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