Changes have been made to the 2013 budget based on recommendations made by the council at budget workshops held Dec. 11 and Dec. 13.
“These changes have been added to the document presented,” stated Helena-West Helena Mayor Arnell Willis.
Council members say three more departments need to be reviewed and are scheduled for the first council session next year. Willis was unable to attend the last workshop because he, the city treasurer, the city clerk and district clerk met with the Legislative Audit Committee in Little Rock.
Willis detailed a review of the audit report that grilled the City of Helena West Helena on outstanding items and in particular undocumented receipts dealing with expenditures dealing with hotels, lodging and travel.
Willis reported that that a grey area addressed detailed the internal transfers of moving money from different departments to meet payroll.
“This is going to have to stop in order for us to move forward,” stressed Willis.
Willis plans to implement a payment list because, “We still owe the West Helena Water Co., the landfill and the street department millions of dollars that this city doesn't have right now.”
The last issue addressed was the habit of hiring or requesting services from family members for city needs.
City Clerk Sandi Ramsey told the council that will have to approve every city contract, including several items that were not considered contracts but were deemed so by the committee. The council also must produce ordinances regarding waiving a bid that exceeds the amount of $7,500 such as the gasoline that can be bid out.