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September 25, 2012 | 04:14 PMAn auditor's report suggests that Lake Geneva encourage the sale of beach passes through its new parking kiosks and that the beach manager consider using the cash register more to keep count of paying beach patrons.
The city began using parking kiosks to collect beach admission fees this summer.
The kiosk receipts can be used anytime during the season.
The report notes that while the receipts can create some "challenges" for beach employees, it also increases the control the city has in collecting beach fees.
The report recommends the city encourage the use of kiosks for buying beach passes. The city should also increase public awareness of this option and locate a kiosk closer to the main beach entrance to reduce the crowds waiting for a wrist band.
The city had been considering limiting sales of beach passes through the kiosks.
The report also recommends that beach operating procedures be written and distributed to employees.
The report was released to the Regional News during the city council meeting meeting on Monday.
City Administrator Dennis Jordan said the audit report will go to the Lake Geneva Piers and Harbors Committee for review to determine if any or all of the auditor's recommendations will be implemented.
According to the report, signed by David Maccoux of Schenck, Milwaukee, the city's auditors, Riviera Beach operations were reviewed by auditors on July 22.
Other recommendations include:
- The daily reconciliation sheet should be signed by the beach manager or designated employee and any variance between attendance and receipts be explained.
- When large numbers of customers are waiting to get onto the beach, the customers should be divided into groups. Customers would be allowed in by groups, which would be more easily managed. At times, the beach entrance is so crowded that customers might sneak in without paying, the report says.
The report also noted that it is a "challenge" for employees when a patron requests a refund. However, there was no suggestion on how to handle that situation.
While beach employees knew the auditors would be reviewing their operations, they did not know the test date, according to the report.
While there were variances noted between money collected and patrons counted, the variances were not significant, the auditor noted.
"In our opinion, because of the nature of the Riviera Beach's operations and our observations at other similar facilities, it is normal that some shortage (overage) would occur on … daily." Maccoux wrote. "The beach manager maintains a notebook detailing all collections per season and this notebook was reviewed. According to this notebook, the variance year to date was not significant."
The audit was requested by the city after several residents complained about what they saw as lax operations at the beach.
According to the report:
Riviera Beach relies on colored wrist bands. Different band colors represent different fees, and the band colors change from day to day.
The bands are prenumbered, which allows beach employees to determine the number of patrons admitted to the beach area.
The employees used a cash box and a cash register. The beach office had a $1,000 cash fund for change.
When customers enter the beach area, an employee collects the fee or the receipt from the parking kiosks for admission fees paid directly at the kiosks. The fee is paid directly to the employee behind the window, and the employee returns any change.
The admission fee is entered in the cash register.
A different employee secures the band to the customer's wrist.
The report says the use of bands is an appropriate control system used in many operations. It allows beach patrons to enter and leave the beach without the use of stamps or taking up staff time. The bands are prenumbered which allows beach personnel to review collections and estimated collections.
The cash box is open and placed on the counter of the adminssion window.
Throughout the day, collections are deposited into the safe.
Generally, having cash in the sight of customers increases the opportunity for theft.
The Riviera Beach collects fees under the following schedule:
- Children 6 and under free.
- Children 7 to 12, $3 a day.
- Ages 13 to adult, $7 a day.
- Season pass, ages 13 to adult, $70 a year.
- Season pass, ages 7 to 12, $30 a year.
- Air mattress per hour, $2.
- Air mattress per day, $10.
The Riviera Beach also rents air mattresses and uses a notebook to record the time and customer name when rented, the report said.
Employees subsequently record the time returned in the notebook. This notebook seems adequate for the beach's needs and variances in the amount collected is not significant.