JOPLIN, Mo. — A drive to trigger a state audit of Joplin city finances is a step closer to reality.

The Jasper County Clerk’s office confirms the petition drive collected more than 2,100 valid signatures in Jasper County alone. This meets the threshold of 1,970 signatures required by the state, and the Newton County Clerk’s office is also confirming additional petitions.

The effort started nearly a year ago to review city finances, with a goal, “to determine if tax dollars are spent efficiently, economically, and legally.” The petition drive was sponsored by a number of citizens, including Brian Evans, who ran for City Council and lost the race by just 17 votes.

There’s no word yet from the state auditor if this officially triggers the audit.