South Jax residents raise questions regarding payments to village water system

By Ryne Turke on August 27, 2015 at 8:39pm

A handful of concerned South Jacksonville residents showed up to a personnel and finance committee meeting in the village on Thursday.

The majority of the meeting consisted of comments from the public during a review of the village’s financial procedures.

The Morgan County Watchdogs group posted new information, obtained by FOIA, on Monday, regarding deposits made to the village’s water system. WLDS/WEAI News recapped that information in a story earlier this week, which can be viewed here.

Watchdog leader Mike Woodyard provided more details on the information during Thursday’s meeting.

“What we have seen in the water/sewer savings account is that all the money is coming in and nothing is coming out. That account should have grown. Even in the village ledgers, when you look at a running total, it grows very big. When you look at the money in the bank it is not,” says Woodyard.

“I can only have one conclusion and that is the money didn’t make it into the bank.”

Woodyard raised additional questions throughout the meeting.

“In what was called the audit that went bad, in the ISP report, there was not enough money in the water savings account to cover all the deposits that should be there. Then you role around to September 2012 and there are 451 journal entries for $15,700 that was all put in on one day. That brings that amount in the ledger. When you compare that month to bank statement the money wasn’t there, it was all on paper,” says Woodyard.

“You roll around seven or eight months later, here’s is a transfer of the money for $17-thousand. All of a sudden the ledger matches the bank account.”

During the meeting, Village President Steve Waltrip stated “we need to relight the fire” to open up more questions regarding the alleged wrongdoing from several key South Jacksonville officials.

He comments on the discussion between trustees and the public at the meeting.

“The financials on this were well explained and I believe the other trustees understand we have money to cover everything. We have over $3 million in cash and the money is there. We have everything and it all balances as the audit report shows. No money is missing that the auditors have found,” says Waltrip.

“The public was brought up to speed on how things are operating. Going forward I think there are some things we need to clear up and continue to work on. We are in good shape.”

Waltrip says the Illinois State Police is currently completing an investigation, which could result in an audit of South Jacksonville records.