Virginia Beach agrees to audit city stormwater management fund

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Furniture sits on a the front lawn of a Windsor Woods home after flood water damaged it in October in Virginia Beach.
Furniture sits on a the front lawn of a Windsor Woods home after flood water damaged it in October. (Justin Belichis/Southside Daily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Beach residents saw just how destructive flood damage can be when Hurricane Matthew touched down in the Southside last October, and the city wants to learn more about how it manages stormwater.

City council agreed Tuesday to audit the city’s stormwater management utility in a unanimous vote at its formal session.

“The audit will address the accounting of revenues collected by the utility and the use of the revenue for the general welfare, health, and safety of the city and its residents,” city auditor Lyndon Remias said.

Flood water ruined hundreds of homes in neighborhoods like Windsor Woods, Princess Anne Plaza and Ashville Park, and there’s about $450 million in stormwater projects without funding.

The word “utility” in “stormwater management utility” is is an enterprise fund created to operate, maintain and improve the city’s stormwater management system, according to Remias.

Remias added that while there is no set timetable for the audit, he said he’s aiming to complete it by July.

“There is no hard deadline but we plan to keep our normal time frame for any audit which is about 3 to 4 months,” Remias said. “That time includes planning the audit, fieldwork and audit report writing.”

Remias has been the city auditor since 2008 and said he’s not aware of a stormwater utility audit conducted prior to his arrival.

A stormwater utility audit was scheduled for next fiscal year, but councilmembers Shannon Kane and Jim Wood asked to put the decision on the agenda last week to prioritize it for this year.

Remias said he is setting up an entrance conference next week with the key players necessary to move forward with the audit.

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