Rec Board pleased with 2021 audit report

At the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Jackson Parish Recreation District (JPRD) on Monday, July 19th, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Jennifer Hawkins reported the LA Legislative Auditor’s Office (LLAO) had given an Unmodified Opinion in regard to the 2021 JPRD Financial Audit.

For those who don’t speak “Audit and Accounting” an Unmodified Opinion is the best response possible. This means that the LLAO didn’t indicate a single negative finding in their report in regard to financial culpability and accountability. 

Hawkins did say that there were a couple of issues that the LLAO notes. She also explained the “issues” were not the same as “findings” but were only “best practice” recommendations. One was the segregation of control where the same person doesn’t handle the books and/or the finances. Being that Jackie Blankenship, who was effusively praised for her work, is basically a one person office staff, it was stated that the LLAO understood the limitations that were faced. Another was the desire to see updates to policies regarding disaster, sexual harrasment and ethics. 

“It is always good to get a good audit report, said JPRD Director Tommy Smith.  “In all truthfulness though we we are not surprised to receive the news as we know what kind of work Jackie does.

In additional action board members Brent Barnett, Ricky Cash, Jeff Hairston, Sullivan Stevens and Chris Womack agreed to continue their working relationship with the Jackson Parish Journal and allow Director Smith to pursue the purchase of a Gazebo that will be used at the Golf Course. 

This is the continuation of a decree made several months when the board agreed to pay no more than $10,000.00 towards a Gazebo. One that measured 16′ x 24′ that cost around $14,000.00 was found and thanks to a generous JSB / Pledge 10 Grant of $5,000.00 the board moved to secure the Gazebo. During the time it took to get all the paperwork in order, the price jumped tremendously forcing the Board to table the action until Smith reported on Monday that they could now once again make a purchase for the close to the original terms and not to exceed $15,000.00

The naming of the Ruston Daily Leader as Official Journal for a one year period was tabled due to the contract for that option isn’t due until December 31, 2022. Also the board was asked to be prepared to make comments and/or suggestions about the rental policy of the sports complex, located at 5254 Hwy 4 at the next meeting. 

In final comments, Jeff Hairston commented on the Golf Course’s new directional sign located on Hwy 146 and Country Club Road.

“I really like the way the new sign looks,’ said Hairston. 

Director Smith echoed the sentiment.

“We wanted something that would attract attention and this certainly does that,” said Smith. “I compliment Ronnie Madere, who through his company Sign Design, really did a good job.” 


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