WILLARD, Mo. -- Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee says the City of Willard did not plan well enough when it decided to build a new aquatic center in the fall of 2008. That $3 million center opened in 2009 and Montee said in a state audit released on Tuesday that the city struggles to pay for the center and the cost to operate it is more than anticipated.
Montee said in the audit report that the city had to borrow money for the outdoor pool from other city funds as well a bank but it's "unclear when or if the funds loaned to the Park Fund from the General and Water/Sewer Funds and the bank loan will be paid back." The city's financing plan calls for the city to make principal and interest payments for the center for 25 years.
The criticism of the condition of the Park Fund is just one of several items that Montee and her staff highlighted in their special audit of the City of Willard. Montee delivered the audit's findings in a public meeting on Tuesday evening at the Willard Community Building. The audit was done after 490 citizens signed petitions requesting it.