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A state comptroller’s audit reveals that the Town of Oakfield made an accounting error involving garbage punch cards.

The Town received 5,000 press-numbered cards to sell to residents in February of 2011. The cards sell for $20 at the Town and Village Halls and three local businesses. At the time of the audit, more than 1,500 cards valued at over $30,000 were missing.

“At this point we haven’t determined exactly why there is the discrepancy that’s sited in the report,” Town of Oakfield Supervisor Michael Cianfrinni said. “We were aware going into the audit that the controls over our waste facility probably needed to be modified. We’re in the process of doing that, so we were well-aware going into it.”

“In light of the audit, covering all aspects of the Town’s operations, we were more than satisfied with the report’s findings given that the only issue noted was an issue that we already were aware needed to be revised.”

Cianfrinni says the Town needs to be more diligent about its bookkeeping, but downplayed the severity of the audit.

“In speaking to the auditors and people from the Comptroller’s Office, they really didn’t see it as a major problem,” he said. “It could have simply been a miscount in the cards that we received. Basically it was showing in the books that certain numbers couldn’t be accounted for.”

At this time, no missing or misappropriated funds have been discovered, and the comptroller’s report does not assign culpability to any one person.

Cianfrinni says the Town is implementing all of the report’s recommendations including issuing new cards and applying strict controls over the usage and distribution of the cards.

For years the Town of Oakfield operated its trash system on a cash basis to use the dump. But recently, Cianfrinni says, it revised its system to employ the cards. The trash cards have $20 on them and are used in $1 bunches to pay for trash expenses.

Cianfrinni says the card system is safely in place now, but the Town is looking at all of its options.

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