Volusia Forever & ECHO Ballot Language To Be On June Second Agenda

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DeLand, FL - The internal audits for both the ECHO and Volusia Forever programs are accepted by the Volusia County Council at today's (May 19) meeting. Internal Auditor Jonathan Edwards was only on the job a little more than two months when Council asked him to conduct the audits.

Both audits use information from the beginning of the programs. You can read the ECHO audit by clicking here. You can read the Volusia Forever audit by clicking here

Edwards said it's important to remember that the audits used 18 years of information. For the ECHO program, he identified 53  different compliance areas to audit for 41 projects. This amounted to over 2,100 items being tested. "Overall,  the ECHO program is running efficiently and effectively. Staff is very knowledgeable in working with the grantees throughout the entire stages of each ECHO project." Edwards said if ECHO is renewed, there are some considerations that should be discussed. "The project grant application is a little daunting and could be revised. Also, there are fewer non-profits that are being selected  and there are some match requirements that could be revised or reconsidered if you are trying to implement more non-profits into the program."

Edwards summarized his audit of Volusia Forever in much the same fashion, stating that both programs could use some tweaking.  "Council should give direction on the land management set aside as a current 10 percent of appropriated funds do not cover all the costs to manage the current land. The average since 2002 was General Fund 58 percent and Volusia Forever 52 percent."

Both audit reports were accepted as County staff recommended. The discussion after the presentations resulted in County Staff, who already has the ballot language for both programs prepared, being instructed to have that information on the agenda for the next meeting, which is June 2. The ballot language will also be presented online in some fashion so that the public may read it.

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