The Benham City Council discussed the city’s financial standing during a recent special called meeting.
During a meeting Thursday, City Manager Roy Silver addressed the panel concerning the progress that has been made in putting the city’s books in order. Silver was named city manager about a month ago and is looking into the financial picture of the city.
“They’ve gotten many of the books almost current,” said Silver. “I think another good day’s work and they will. There are some holes still in there, because there’s no paperwork to support a lot of what was paid for…we haven’t been able to find that.”
Silver told the council the next step after the books are brought up to date is to call in an auditor.
“By that time we should have the next year’s-2012 to 2013-up to date,” said Silver. “We need those audits, particularly the first one, because the loan at the Bank of Harlan requires that you have a current audit.”
Silver pointed out that without a current audit, even though the payments may have been made the city’s credit rating could still be damaged.
Silver also addressed the issue of the Tri-City interconnect water project.
“There’s been no progress on that, unfortunately,” said Silver. “I wrote based on what the committee said — a memorandum of agreement between the cities about how we’re going to manage the pumping stations.”
According to Silver, this agreement was turned over to an attorney, Damon Talley of Hodgenville, over a month ago, but the attorney has not reviewed the document as of the time of the meeting.
“The attorney in western Kentucky has had it for over a month, and he keeps on promising he’s going to review it and get it back to us,” said Silver. “He hasn’t done anything.
Council member George Massey suggested giving the attorney one more week to review the document and they find another attorney if no action was taken.
“I agree,” said council member David Kidwell in support of Massey’s suggestion. “We should have hired somebody local.”
The council decided to give the attorney one more week to take action before searching for another attorney.
In other council activity:
* The council discussed the possibility of having the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office collect the city property tax;
* A first reading was performed of a property tax ordinance.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, firstname.lastname@example.org