October 23, 2012 10:24:40 AM
The Brickfire Project, a local non-profit organization, will have to repay the city $7,700 in misappropriated funds following a 6-1 vote by the Starkville Board of Aldermen.
The vote was actually to approve a memorandum of understanding between the city and the Brickfire Project, which agreed to repay the disputed amount, $7,699, to the Mississippi Department of Human Services over a 36-month period.
City Attorney Chris Latimer said an audit revealed an inappropriate recording of money spent from two grants awarded by the city two years ago.
"It was a matter of simply not itemizing where exactly the money went," Latimer said.
As an MDHS sub-grantee, the Brickfire Project is allocated $5,000 annually by the city to work toward obtaining grant funding for childcare services.
Mayor Parker Wiseman was adamant about not cutting Brickfire Project's allocation this fiscal year, since it was already budgeted.
"Conversations with (Brickfire Project officers) have led me to make this recommendation," he said. "It makes it much easier on them as far as a cash-flow situation."
The memorandum stipulates that the city will make the $5,000 contribution to Brickfire as budgeted, but will expect the project to make payments of $1,000 a month, for the next five months.
But during the next fiscal year, the remainder of the balance owed, $2,699, will be taken from the $5,000 usually budgeted to Brickfire.
If any payments are missed over the next five months, Director of Finance Taylor Adams said the city would be able to withhold monthly grant disbursements.
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