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Politics

Audit Shows Problems in Solid Waste Management Districts

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/auditshows_1471.mp3

A new audit recommends the Department of Natural Resources do a better keeping tabs on Solid Waste Management Districts. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

The state is divided into 20 solid waste management districts which are charged with reducing waste.

The audit examined 4 districts, one in the St Louis area, two in Central Missouri and one in Southwest Missouri, which encompasses McDonald, Newton, Jasper, Barton and Vernon counties.

All districts in the state receive money from garbage haulers...last fiscal year, they collectively received nearly 11 million dollars in fees.

State auditor Claire McCaskill says her office found examples of wasteful spending.

The audit includes several suggestions for improving the management of solid waste management districts' funds.

McCaskill says the Department of Natural Resources or DNR needs to do more.

Spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources Renee Bungart says the department agrees with the suggestions in the audit.

She says the department views this as an opportunity to improve and will give each of the four districts that were audited the chance to review the findings and respond.

Additionally, the department is suspending the payment of funds to these districts until they address the issues raised in the audit.

Bungart says the department is asking the districts to hold public meetings on plans for dealing with the audit findings.

State Auditor Claire McCaskill says she suspects other districts could have problems similar to the ones discovered in the four districts that she audited.

McCaskill says the audit also found problems with the way some districts award grant monies.