By Frank Lewis
At June 28, 2014 Portsmouth City Council meeting, Council asked Portsmouth City Manager Derek Allen to exhaust all efforts to make sure every step had been taken to notify the public of the presence of unclaimed funds in the city coffers.
Now Allen says a review was performed on the Unclaimed Monies Fund, as requested. Allen said the unclaimed monies consists of checks that have been issued to businesses and to individuals for a myriad of reasons from the 1980s through the present time.
He said the funds range from water deposit refunds, income tax refunds, court witness fees and vendor payments. According to Allen the checks were mailed and either never cashed or were lost and though the checks are for relatively small amounts, by the sheer volume of checks issued during the year, accumulate into several thousand dollars. Some of the checks were witness fees of $3 which Allen surmises were probably just not cashed by the recipients.
From the year 1995 through 2013, the balance in the fund had risen to $105,870.92, $3,470.20 of that compiling last year. The largest single year was 2002 when the fund added $27,290.21. In 2006 a payment was made to Pike Sanitation to final out a check that was placed in the Unclaimed Monies Fund in 2002, which is why the 2002 balance increased by a sizable amount and why in 2006 there was a sizable decrease. The fund had gone from a balance of $89,311.40 in 2005 to $68,183.57 in 2006 with an annual deficit of $21,127.83 for 2006.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.