Audit reveals no red flags for the Santa Fe Railroad Museum Foundation

Potter County Commissioners got results of the Santa Fe Railroad Museum Foundation audit.

The financial disclosure regarding the Santa Fe Railroad Museum Foundation has been on the Potter County Commissioners meeting agenda for the past several weeks.

The County gave the foundation money for the past seven years.

Walter Wolfram, president of the foundation, agreed to an audit at the December 23 meeting.

The results of the audit, presented at Monday's meeting, revealed the $400,000 were accounted for.

"The documentation that they found really didn't comply with the general accounting standards. however, the monies were there, were documented and being there in that account," said Mercy Murgia, Potter County commissioner.

Though the audit showed no issues, Murgia said it was a necessary process.

"I think there was an opinion shared today with the court that it was an audit that didn't need to happen. And in my opinion it did," Murgia said.

"If you can't speak to the dollar amounts, we should be able to do thatâ?¦.we can stand before our tax payers and speak to where the dollar amounts are," Murgia said.

The foundation is in the process of disbanding. The monetary donations will be returned and the artifacts will be given to the county.

"We have substantial funds on hand that we'll be offering back to our private donors. And we want to make sure that we don't create tax problems for them or administrative problems for ourselves," Wolfram said.

The foundation is working with the Attorney General's office to make sure proper steps are taken.

As for the museum, the future remains unclear.

Murgia said there has never been a question as to whether or not a museum would be good for the city.

"It's a devastating disappointment but it's not the county's fault and it's not the city's fault. It's just a set of circumstances that got away," Wolfram said.

"We couldn't switch the tracks and get the train on our track."