City passes audit, new ordinances

The agenda was packed at the January 4 City Council meeting. The most notable item up for discussion was the annual audit report.

The City of Barbourville passed its June 30, 2017 audit, noting several fund increases and only minor adjustments which have already been addressed.

“This is our independent audit report on your financial statements for the year ending on June 30, 2017…We have audited the financial statements. That includes the general fund, the tourism and recreation fund, rec park, other non-major funds and also the utility commission as a component unit,” said Jones, Nale and Mattingly PLC partner Jonathon Eade. “We issued an unmodified opinion which states that these statements are fairly presented and in accordance with accounting principles that are accepted within the United States.”

A couple highlights in the financial statements were the cash for the primary government was approximately $862,000, an approximate increase of $20,000 from the previous audit, and total assets were approximately $4.1 million for the city, up from $3.9 million.

Eade also commented that the current liability did increase compared to the prior year, up approximately $150,000. This increase was attributed to the new debt incurred for the purchase of City Police cruisers. Eade said $50,000 of that balance will become due at the beginning of the 2018 fiscal year with the remaining $100,000 becoming due in future years. The city’s total liabilities were approximately $2.5 million with approximately $2 million of that coming from net pension liability.

Finally, a total of 33 financial adjustments were proposed during the audit and management has posted all of those adjustments.

Next on the agenda was a second reading of two new ordinances which aim to separate employee pay classifications from the city’s personnel policy and the first reading of one municipal order to adopt the new personnel policy.

Ordinance No. 2017-6 repealed Ordinance No. 2008-4, the original position classification and compensation plans for city employees. Ordinance No. 2017-7 then set the new class title, number of positions available and minimum and maximum pay rate for those working in the city’s administrative, police, street, recreation, fire and tourism departments. Finally, Municipal Order 2018-1 officially adopted the new personnel policy.

While all three were unanimously accepted by the council, there was one minor hiccup in the process. While reading through the policy, councilman Sherman Lawson had an issue with overarching vehicle security measures, especially concerning the police department’s K-9 unit.

“I understand reading in [the policy] that [police officer’s vehicles] have to be locked up…the windows rolled up and make sure the car is secure when you leave and the engine shut off. When it comes to the K-9 units…if we’ve got the windows rolled up and that dog is in there in 90-degree weather, somebody’s going to complain,” said Lawson.

Chief Winston Tye stated the procedures for K-9 units will be in the police department’s policies and councilman Ronnie Moore reassured that since this is just a policy, there is nothing to his knowledge prohibiting the council from making additions to it at future meetings.

The frigid weather was a reoccurring topic. Code Enforcement Officer Corey Moren stated that due to cold weather, the recycling center has shut down a few days. Barbourville Utilities manager Josh Callihan reported his water crews are working to fix leaks from frozen lines as quickly as possible. To keep pipes from leaking, you can let cold water drip or leave cabinet doors open to expose pipes to the heat in the home and make sure crawl spaces are airtight. Customers can expect February electric bills to be elevated from the extremely cold weather.

For a complete video of the January meeting, see mountainadvocate.com. The next meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. on February 8 at City Hall.