The Eutaw City Council, under the direction of Mayor Latasha Johnson, met for its two regular meetings for the month of January 2022 on the 13th and 25th. The City continued to make progress in getting its financial records and activities in order.
CPA Rick Harbin of Tuscaloosa made a compilation report of the city’s finances for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. He said he was unable to audit these years because the documentation accompanying funds received and deposited was not traceable back to specific accounts and activities. For example, deposits were made for the water department without itemizing which accounts were being paid. These years were under the administration of the prior mayor and council.
Harbin said he had established account balances at the fiscal year ending September 30 2017 through September 30, 2020 and financial activities for the three years showing the city’s net assets increasing year over year. For the Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2020, the City of Eutaw had current assets of $1,821,038 and fixed assets, less depreciation, of $9,758,554 for total assets of $11,579,592. There was a total of $2,466,056 in current and long-term liabilities for a net assets of $9,113,536.
Harbin said he hoped to be able to audit the last fiscals year from October 1, 2020 to September 30 2021 because there were better records and documentation for this period. He said the city was currently utilizing a better system of computerized accounting which will help in the audits for the future. Several of the city’s funders and lenders require audited financial statements to continue receiving assistance. Harbin said he would present his information to them and promise auditable figures going forward.
At the January 13th meeting the Council approved a lease agreement between the city and Supreme Electrical LLC. The Council approved a deed transferring the airport property to the Eutaw Airport Authority Board of Directors, for them to seek grants to improve the airport. If the Airport Authority no longer needs the property, it will revert to the City. The Council accepted and approved a bid of $14,000 from Travis Service Company to provide a 2–5-ton split heat pump system for R. H. Young Community Center in Eutaw.
The Council approved seeking bids for speed bumps on Kirksey Avenue, Brown Avenue, Roebuck Avenue, O’Neal Street and Vera Vista Avenue. Councilwoman Valerie Watkins has been pushing for these traffic safety measures since her election to the council last year.
The Council approved appointment of a Litter Advisory Committee to help encourage residents of the city to be neater and not throw litter on the streets. The city has also secured anti-littering signs which will be posted around the city advising of a $500 fine for littering. Chief Tommie Johnson said the police department would be enforcing the anti-littering laws.
In the January 25th meeting the Council also heard a report from Douglas Fulghum with the Auburn Extension Service about plans to improve transportation and walking in the city. The Council also approved advertising for a “grant writer” to compile funding proposals for the city to public and private funding agencies. The Council also approved settlements with past employees for leave time and other benefits owed.
The Council approved a Tax Revenue Enhancement Agreement for business license administration with Avenu Insights & Analytics to ensure that all businesses in the city are paying their business license fees. Mayor Johnson reminded the public that January 31, 2022 was the deadline for paying for 2022 business licenses, after which a penalty and interest will be assessed.
The Council approved travel for several employees to training conferences and meetings.