The Burgin City Council voted to part ways with the auditing firm hired to get the city up to date on their audits.
At last week’s meeting, the city council voted to pay Jones And Associates of Lexington $10,000. Even though the accounting firm had been hired by the previous city council in 2018 to get the city up to date with their audits, they had not submitted a single audit.
“She essentially started in January of this year,” said Mayor Jim Caldwell. “We’re not going to get a completed audit from her.”
Caldwell said the auditing firm, which is owned by Judy Jones, had quit twice in the last month and sent in an invoice for over $14,000. He said they had agreed to reduce the bill by $4,000. Caldwell recommend the city pay it, saying it would cost more in legal fees than it was worth to fight the bill.
“We’re going to have to pay her something,” Caldwell said.
This did not sit well with several members of the city council, including Councilman David R. Peavler, who said he wanted documentation from the company before the city would pay anything.
However, Councilwoman Frances Hayslett Cord moved to pay the bill.
“I say pay her the ten and walk away from it,” said Cord, who moved to pay the bill if Jones provided an itemized invoice. The motion passed unanimously, with Councilman Sindicat “Sid” Dunn abstaining.
Cities have been requiredto file either audits with the Department of Local Government in order to receive state funding. Burgin has not completed an audit since 2011. As a result the state withheld over $112,000 in road paving funds. However, last year, the law changed, and Burgin no longer needs to submit a yearly audit. Instead, according to accountant Noel Turner, the city must either submit an audit or a financial report on alternating years. The state has forgiven Burgin for the missing audits and released the withheld funds.
Turner was hired last year to help get the city up to date. The council also voted to extend his contract with the city for another six months.
In other business, the Burgin City Council:
• Agreed to purchase 200 bags plus an appropriate amount of sand. The sand bags will be placed behind Burgin City Hall.
The council discussed flooding. Mayor Caldwell said he had met with representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bluegrass Area Development District plus Kentucky Rural Water Association.
Caldwell said Burgin has been put on the fast track by the Kentucky Division Of Water. He said one of two underground streams which has long served as part of a natural drainage system for the city is blocked. Many citizens believe that blasting done during the construction of the city’s sewer system either stopped or severely slowed drainage in the area near Water Street.
“If they can find the contractor did it, we can go after the contractor and the sanitation district,” said Caldwell, referring to contractors hired by the Mercer County Sanitation District to build the sewer.
As a result, the city held off on hiring an engineer to devise a solution to Burgin’s flooding problem, Caldwell said.
Even if they agreed to fund repairs right now, it would take 18 months to start, the mayor said.
• Tabled a motion to raise salaries for the city council and the mayor. The raises would not benefit the current council but the next one elected. Mayor Caldwell said he would like to see mayor’s salary go up to $1,000 a month but he deferred to the council.
Councilwoman Cord said she felt she hadn’t done anything to merit a raise. “What have I accomplished?” Cord asked.
“Frankly you’ve accomplished more this year than they did in the past 10 years,” Caldwell said.
Councilman Dunn recommend Cord asked her to write a list of her accomplishments.
The next meeting of the Burgin City Council will be Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Burgin City Hall (117 Maple Street, Burgin).
The City of Burgin has changed their contact information. New phone number: 859-605-9652. Fax: 859-449-3790.