Naples hires auditing firms for two jobs

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — The Town of Naples hired a new auditor, and retained its former auditing firm for the job of the transfer station budget.

The Naples Board of Selectmen on July 24 discussed the bid proposals that had been submitted.

For so many months that it almost spans a year, the town manager and the board members have been talking about putting out to bid again the town’s contract for the annual independent financial auditing services.

“It is nothing against our current auditor,” Naples Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak said.

“It is okay to have a draft and find a few mistakes,” he said. “But when you have to repeatedly correct” errors, it is time to seek a new auditing firm.

“It should be independent of the town manager,” Paraschak added.

The board’s vote to engage another firm was not a slam dunk. In fact, two of the five board members abstained from declaring “yea” or “nay.”

Chairman Jim Grattelo made the motion to hire Ron L. Beaulieu and Company to do the town’s audit on a yearly basis. The motion included the hiring of RHR Smith and Company to complete the audit of the budget for the Casco-Naples Transfer Station and Bulky Waste Facility.

The transfer station is shared by the two towns. As part of the agreement, Casco is responsible for the hiring of employees and Naples is accountable for presenting the facility’s budget.

Both contracts will last three years — from 2017 through 2019.

The official vote was 3–0–2, with selectmen Bob Caron II and Kevin Rogers declaring their right not to vote either way.

“I am abstaining. [I am] not sure of what direction to go,” Caron said.

Rogers said, “I cannot confidently say either way.”

Ron L. Beaulieu and Company will charge the town $8,500 per year for its services of doing the annual audit of the Naples’ budget. That firm is based in Portland.

RHR Smith’s fee will be $4,500 to perform the audit on the Lake Region Bulky Waste Facility and Transfer Station budgets. The two sites have separate budgets, which is a recent change made by the council that oversees those facilities. RHR Smith is located in Old Orchard.

The third auditing firm that offered a bid proposal was Smith & Associates CPA’s out of Yarmouth. Smith & Associates’ bid price was $8,375 for each of the three years.

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