City to keep close eye on spending

by Todd Brooks

It is not uncommon for the monthly city general fund to pay out more than it takes in. An annual payment coming due, an emergency or other unexpected expense might cause the city’s general fund to go in the negative for a month.

It is unusual when those months are strung together, such as it has been for the past two months for the city for April and May. For the second straight month, the city’s general fund paid out over $13,000 more than it brought in.

The shortfall prompted one audience member at the June city council meeting on June 4 to ask how to fix it.

“Stop spending,” said mayor Smokey Dobbins. “(Interim city manager Wayne McCasland) has already spoken to everybody about it.”

The good news for the city is that for the fiscal year, they are still nearly $1,500 in the positive in the account with one more month left in the year.

The Public Works Authority fund is still strong with $101,038.74 in revenue over expenses for the fiscal year. The Land Management is also on the positive side with nearly $14,500 in the incoming side compared to the outgoing side for the year.

The rest of the June meeting dealt with the usual monthly items. They did enter into an executive session to talk about the vacant city manager position. Dobbins had said in the May meeting that the city had received resumes from people interested in the job.

The city agreed to purchase windows for the Opry Motel from Shane Burk. Grant holding fund money will cover $23,629.04 of the expense with the remaining $506.71 coming from the capital improvement fund.

The council also tabled an item to discuss Field of Dreams options for upgrades to be presented by Comanche Sports Group representative Nick Reed.

On the Public Works Authority portion of the meeting, the city agreed to renew the annual water purchase contract with Stephens County Rural Water District No. 3.

Trustees also voted to take care of some repairs at the water plant for $16,500 to be paid from the water sales tax fund.