A yearlong project to beautify the streets of Napoleonville with new antique street and stop signs has landed the small Assumption Parish community in trouble with its auditors.
A new audit says the village violated the state’s public bid law when it spent $56,424 on signs without seeking bids as required by law.
The audit, made public earlier this week, said the town spent more than $10,000 but less than $30,000 on signs on three separate occasions in the 2014 fiscal year.
Individually, each of those purchases required at least three quotes by telephone or fax, but when the purchases are taken together, the three total more than $30,000 and should have been subject to the formal bid process, the auditors said.
That more extensive process requires advertising the job and selecting the lowest bidder.
Mayor Ron Animashaun said Tuesday that the village bought one batch of signs from a Florida vendor early in the year but waited on the remainder until after hurricane season to ensure the village had enough money for a major storm.
Two more batches of signs were bought after the storm season from the same company in Florida, Animashaun said.
He said the company had the lowest prices but said the village lost sight of the total amount being spent on signs throughout the year.
“We would have went with them anyway, but it (the bid law) kicked it,” Animashaun said.
In the audit, town officials promised to monitor their purchases subject to the public bid law in the future.
Animashaun said the street sign project is finished.
The 2014 audit also found the village violated the state budget law when it failed to sufficiently amend its budget for the year. The document ended up showing too large a variance between its revenue projection and what revenues actually were at the end of the year.
The village projected revenues of $377,300 in its final amended budget but only took in $356,197 for 2014.
Village expenses also were $122,729 less than first projected, so the village drew less from its surplus than expected in 2014, even with the revenue slip. The village had $168,255 on hand at the end of the fiscal year.
Animashaun said he hopes to hear from the village’s auditors in an upcoming meeting about why revenues slipped last year.