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City to pay $25,000 for audit

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Mayor says city will 'find the money' in its budget

By Moreland Jeff

 

The city of Campbellsville will be paying the price for an audit conducted by the state, and that price will be $25,000.

Council members voted to pay the bill Monday night at their regular meeting at the Campbellsville Civic Center, although the decision did not come without some discussion.

The audit was conducted from January to December 2017 by Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Harmon’s office, and found several instances of the city not being compliant with state laws and policies, as well as instances of the city using businesses owned by council members to do work, but failing to solicit bids properly for those jobs.

Council member Terry Keltner, one of the council members whose work for the city was in question by the audit, wanted to know who had requested the audit. Mayor Tony Young said that information would remain anonymous, according to the state auditor’s office.

Keltner claimed that the fourth council member to have done work for the city was Patti Phillips. He said he had records that showed Phillips had been paid $8,587.75 for catering work for the city. Phillips did not deny having done work for the city, but did question the number presented by Keltner.

Harmon’s audit contained no information regarding Phillips or her work with the city. Keltner asked Phillips, Young, Campbellsville City Attorney John Miller, and city clerk Carrie Noe if they were questioned about Phillips’ work, and all answered that they were not.

“You’d think if we paid $25,000 for an audit, that would show up in an audit,” Keltner said.

Council member Mike Hall Jr. asked if the city would have received the bill even if no compliance issues were found, and Campbellsville City Attorney John Miller said that was not the case.

“I don’t know why the auditor’s office decides to audit; they probably get calls and complaints all the time about things. I don’t know what causes them to pick one city versus the other, I can’t speak to that, but they made it pretty clear to Carrie (city clerk Carrie Noe) when she asked ‘Why us’ that they can’t tell us.”

Hall replied, stating that there was clearly something found within the audit, and he asked the mayor about the source of funding to pay the bill.

“Well, if it’s a special investigation, someone made a complaint, and they’re investigating the complaint,” Hall said. “They investigated the complaint, and whether we agree or not, they clearly found that we were non-compliant, and they sent us the bill, and I’m assuming there’s really no appeal to this. So where, mayor, do you suggest this come out of the budget?”

Young replied that although this is not a line item in the budget, the city will find the money in its budget to pay the bill.

“We have the money. We can find the money, yes,” Young said, adding that he did not know where the money would come from within the budget.

Council member Jimmy Ewing asked Miller if the city should challenge the bill, and Miller replied, “it’s kind of poking the bear, to some extent.”

A motion to approve payment was made by council member Sharon Hoskins-Sanders and seconded by council member Greg Rice.

 

In other business

• Jeff Sprowles of Wise, Buckner, Sprowles & Associates, PLLC, presented the report from his firm’s annual audit of the city. Sprowles discussed the audit in depth, stating that his firm found no issues of compliance with either of the programs he tested.

A motion was made by Nunery to accept the report, and the motion was seconded by council member Jay Eastridge with all council members voting in favor.

• The council held second reading of Ordinance #18-01, approving a lease for the refinancing of the debt for the Heartland Park project. The lease refinances the debt of about $715,000 at less than 3-percent interest, according to Young.

A motion to accept the ordinance was made by council member Allen Johnson and second by council member Greg Rice, with all members voting in favor.

• The council went into executive session for deliberation on possible litigation. The members came out shortly after with no action being taken.

• The next regular scheduled meeting of the Campbellsville City Council will take place on Monday, March 5, at 7 p.m. in the Campbellsville Civic Center.