Livonia Joint Fire District – Fire Truck Funding and Purchase (2021M-97)

Issued Date
September 17, 2021

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Livonia Joint Fire District’s (District) Board was transparent when funding and purchasing fire apparatus.

Key Findings

The Board was not transparent when funding and purchasing fire apparatus, levied more taxes than necessary to finance annual operations and the Board’s actions hindered taxpayers’ ability to make informed decisions. The Board:

  • Overestimated appropriations to accumulate more than $1.1 million in fund balance to purchase a fire truck costing more than $727,000, instead of establishing a capital reserve.
  • Did not adopt fund balance, reserve or budgeting policies, along with multiyear financial and capital plans.

Key Recommendations

  • Establish budgeting, fund balance and reserve policies and develop multiyear financial and capital plans.
  • Include more realistic estimates of revenues, expenditures and fund balance when developing and adopting the annual budgets.
  • If warranted, establish a capital reserve to accumulate funds for future capital equipment purchases.

District officials agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to initiate corrective action.