The city of Pickerington and the Pickerington Local School District have earned top honors from the Ohio Auditor's Office for financial accounting.

The city of Pickerington and the Pickerington Local School District have earned top honors from the Ohio Auditor's Office for financial accounting.

Faced with slumping revenues and challenges to maintain or expand services, programs and classes, both the city of Pickerington and the PLSD have made no secret that 2011 will be an important year for identifying new sources of income.

While coming up with new money continues to be a challenge, both the city and school district recently were recognized by the Ohio Auditor's Office for keeping tabs on the funds they manage.

As it has every year since 2004, the city received the "Making Your Tax Dollars Count" award for its fiscal year 2009 audit.

As it did in fiscal years 2007 and 2008, the PLSD also received the award for its financial accounting in fiscal year 2009.

According to Rob Pike, a central Ohio liaison for the auditor's office, the recognition is given to less than 5 percent of all Ohio government agencies.

"In order to receive this award, public entities must first complete and submit a comprehensive annual financial report, or CAFR," Pike said. "It's something many entities don't even attempt."

In addition to the CAFR, government entities that receive the award must have no findings or issues present in their audit reports. They also must have no other financial concerns.

"It is always an honor to be recognized for the hard work of so many individuals that make receiving this award possible," said Chris Schornack, finance director for the city of Pickerington. "It is a positive reflection that the city is managing taxpayers' funds in an appropriate manner.

"The city's rating agency also recognizes these types of awards when annually rating the city's financial outlook."

In a press release, Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor said, "I commend (the city of Pickerington) for receiving this honor and encourage them to continue making financial accounting a high priority."

In presenting the award to the PLSD on Dec. 13, Pike said the district continues to do an exemplary job of managing and accounting for its finances.

"The community should be proud of (the district's) commitment to making sure each tax dollar is spent appropriately," Taylor said in a press release.

PLSD treasurer Dan Griscom was lauded by Pike for his work to maintain financial accountability.

Griscom said the hard work of his staff and other school administrators have allowed the district to continually receive the award.

"Fiscal accountability is very important to our district and the community, for good reason," he said. "We are committed to handling public funds in a responsible and frugal manner."