Clarksville city Hall stock

Clarksville City Hall

CLARKSVILLE — City councilors got some good and bad news about city finances Tuesday night in City Hall.

Brittany Martin, a CPA with McClanahan and Holmes LLP, told members the 2020 audit was an “unmodified statement, meaning your finances are in good standing.”

She told them that in 2020, the expenses were down and the income was up. She also said the record keeping needed better structure.

“Everything was done a little bit differently every time in 2020,” she said.

Paul Hines, owner of Clarksville Tax and Business Services, is in the process of reconciling the 2021 books. Hines, who is helping the city get caught up on its bookkeeping, told council the city owed money to the federal government. The city approved a contingency transfer of up to $30,000 from the water fund to the general fund to cover the money owed.

The exact amount of money owned has not been figured out yet, and if it is more than $30,000, Hines will have to come back to the council, he said. Hines told the council the money was likely budgeted, but did not get paid, and there are going to be shortages that will have to be taken care of.

Hines’ comments prompted Councilman W.F. Higgins to tell fellow members that the council needed to be more careful in using city funds.

“We need a little more diligence in our spending,” he said.

After an executive session, the council named Shirley Bailey, who currently works in the city’s utility department, as the acting city secretary. She will get an 8% annual pay increase due to her expanded duties.

In a 7-1 vote, the council approved hosting meetings twice a month beginning in December. Councilman Gary Gray was the lone dissenter.

“We will get things taken care of more quickly,” Mayor Ann Rushing said.

Council will meet on the first and third Tuesday of each month with the next meeting on the new schedule set for Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

The council also voted to give city employees $25 gift cards and close City Hall at noon on Dec. 22 so employees and councilors could have a holiday potluck meal together.

David Money is the assistant managing editor for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6964 or david.money@theparisnews.com.

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