County won’t book $90,000 worth of inventory, but continues tracking

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — County staff will be allowed to scrub more than $90,000 worth of low-value items from its financial books. However, those same items will continue to be tracked through individual departments’ inventory logs.

“We have so many items,” Finance Director Diane Bernardo told commissioners this week, adding that it would be a full-time job to track them all.

Up until August 2008, the county was required to log and track all equipment with a value of $750 on the finance department’s fixed asset listing. The state requirements for recording changed, raising the threshold to $1,000.

Bernardo asked the commissioners for permission to remove 1,134 items worth $90,236 from the list. While many of the items have been depreciated to the point they have no monetary value, the average worth of the listed items is $79.57, according to county staff.

Those items include various pieces of computer equipment, digital cameras and video cameras, lifeguard paddleboards, radios, binoculars, chainsaws and drill presses, basketball backboards, and pressure washers, to name a few.

In all, the county tracks approximately 6,000 items with a book value of $27 million.

Commission Chairman Peter O’Bryan asked if the items on the list were deleted, if they would still be tracked in inventory.

Bernardo explained that each department has an assigned inventory custodian who could be provided a list of those items to keep track of.

Commissioner Wesley Davis said he understood Bernardo’s request but added that taxpayers paid for the items and the county needs to keep track of them.

“I think that what we really need some level of accountability,” Davis said.

Commissioners voiced support for continuing to track the items in inventory logs and removing them from the financial books.

Bernardo said that while the old items valued between $750 and $1,000 would be tracked through inventory, any low-value items purchased after August 2008 could not be. She explained that they have not been logged into the inventory because of the value threshold.

What combined monetary value those items have and how many items there are is unknown as they are not being tracked.

Commissioner Bob Solari said that raising the value threshold would help the Finance Department keep track of what needed to be tracked as a form of cost control.

“I think we have to have a certain trust in our employees,” he said.

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