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Corinth closing books on district

Profile image for By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer

The city of Corinth took the final steps this week to close the books on Corinth Municipal Utility District No. 1, nearly four months after 90 percent of the city's voters approved a proposition dissolving the 30-year-old special taxing district.

In addition to establishing a clear title on the district's assets - primarily water and sewer lines paid for with district-issued bonds - city officials were also able to close the bank accounts.

The city has about $14,000 to pay a couple of minor bills related to district business before it can make the last round of refunds to the district's former taxpayers.

The city recently issued refunds to a few taxpayers who paid late. Those refunds included the interest and penalty the taxpayers were assessed, according to Mayor Paul Ruggiere.

As they wound down operations, MUD officials issued full refunds for 2010 taxes and pro-rated shares of the 2009 taxes.

While the city doesn't know exactly when that third and final round of refunds will happen, Ruggiere said it will happen.

"It's always been our intent to return that money - we just don't know exactly how much it will be," Ruggiere said.

The City Council also voted to accept the utility district's final audit.

The move was a compromise since the city could not conduct its own audit of the MUD's records, as required by city ordinance, Ruggiere said.

"There wasn't enough to work with," Ruggiere said, adding that district officials turned over several boxes of records to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which eventually were surrendered to the city of Corinth.

The city was able to obtain a check ledger from the bank after closing the district's bank accounts, but MUD records were too scant to make a meaningful probe of the ledger, Ruggiere said.

"We know the amounts that were written, and to whom, but we don't know what the checks were for," Ruggiere said.

City officials were confident that the records balanced between the time of the MUD's last annual audit and the turnover of records to the city, he said.

In addition, TCEQ officials told the city that its review of the utility district's final audit was enough to close it down.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881. Her e-mail address is .