Historical society asks for an audit

The Keystone Area Historical Society (KAHS) is asking for an audit of its books.

Jon Veltman, president of the KAHS board said, “It’s a mess. You have to have everything in the right bucket. If you have no documentation for that then you don’t know where to put it. Why is so and so reimbursed for this? What was this for? How come we don’t have receipts? ” 

The KAHS board has gone through some changes in the last year.

“We’ve got qualified board members now,” Veltman said. “We’ve changed our articles of incorporation where only board members vote. So if the members come to the meeting they can tell board members their feelings about it but they don’t have any voting power anymore. We had the option to have all members vote and the options had just board members vote and a majority thought we should just do  just board members because if they don’t come to the meetings regularly  they don’t really know what’s going on. We’re in the process of changing the bylaws from two pages to 12 pages. We have new board members and they’re afraid that issues or questions or problems will be associated with them. So we had to put something in there that says, ‘I’m not liable for something that happened in 2017.’” 

The board is looking to change its non-profit status to 501(c)3. This would allow for more grants to be written to help fund various programs and events like the upcoming Carrie Ingalls festival in July.

“We are trying to get it submitted by mid-January,” Veltman said. “We’re talking about a third of what we could get if we made our status change. It’s a big, big deal. It opens up all kinds of doors for us. It would be for the longevity of the museum.” 

The audit would be for 2015-17.

“I think we’ll go back to the beginning of 2015,” Veltman said. “That’s where I see some problems. There’s questions that we have. Not proper documentation. Just things missing. I don’t think we can do it ourselves. We’ve gotta have some outside person look at it. That way it puts faith back into the organization.  If there’s nothing wrong there’s gonna be nothing found wrong. But if there is we’re out of it.”

The KAHS board asked the town board to pay for all or part of the audit.

“We would appreciate it if the town would pay for it. We found some discrepancies. We have issues with receipts and reporting to the IRS. We thought that going forward we could look at what our issues were and confirm them from an independent person,” said KAHS board secretary Gloria Groth.

Groth has 30 years of professional accounting experience.

Finance officer Cassandra Ott objected to the town paying for an audit by stating, “I don’t think it’s the town’s duty to pay for an audit. The town should stay out of it as much as possible.”

Keystone Trustee Kwinn Neff countered with, “I agree with you. But they’re trying to do the right thing and this is something I’ve asked for from all the nonprofits since I got on here and the amount of money they have for a budget and the kind of mess they walked into I have no problem with the city paying for this. I don’t want to discourage a volunteer board from doing what’s right.” 

The town did not act on this matter but did request three estimates from the KAHS board.

User login