WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (2/20/13) - CPA Mike Overby was on hand at Tuesday night’s Clay City Council meeting to present the results of the 2012 audit.
Overby told the council that the report was a “clean” or “unqualified” opinion, which is the best they can get. He quickly ran through the assets and activities of the city during the covered period.
He recommended that the council take a serious look at the business assets of the city, gas, sewer and water all three operated at a loss last year.
“This is your major source of income,” Overby said. “If you want to make money, rates are going to have to go up.”
The biggest loss came in the sewer department, which had operated $78,969 in the negative. Gas lost the second most, at $47,564 and the water department lost $32,150. The total operating loss from these departments was $158,683.
In other business, the council voted to accept the official bid from Kentucky Utilities for the city of Clay’s electrical franchise. The current franchise, which expires in May, paid the city 2.7 percent. The new twenty year deal will be worth three percent.
During public appeals City Clerk Julianna Rhye told the council that she had received a request from a resident who was worried about the noise caused by semis using “jake brakes” or “engine brakes” when they come through town.
Mayor Rick Householder said the he had seen signs in a lot of smaller towns, especially in southern Illinois, telling truck drivers not to use jake brakes in the city limits.
“We can put the signs up, but I don’t think we have any way to enforce it,” he said. “All you’re doing is politely asking truck drivers not to use their jake brakes in town.”
“What would it hurt to put them up?” asked councilman Paul Cowen.
Mayor Householder agreed that it was worth a try and the council voted to get three signs to put up at the city limits.
City employee Paul Stone presented the city with estimates on radio-read water and gas meters. The 606 needed water meters would cost the city $75,750 while the 523 gas meters would run $52,300. The transmitters would cost about $69,440 and an additional charge of $28,000 would be required for the computer and other equipment for the truck.
“One man could get in the truck and read every meter in town in half a day,” he said. “Right now we all work on it and it takes us two days.”
He also pointed out that these water meters would be “low flow”, meaning that they would read amounts that the current meters could miss, such as a ice maker running in the middle of the night.
Next Stone told the council that city employees were due for operator qualification training this year.
“We’re required to be trained on 11 or 12 things in the gas every three years,” he said. “In the past, Providence has gone in with us and paid half the price, but they will not be involved this year.”
Clay’s half of the $8,836 fee three years ago was $4,418. In the absence of Providence, the trainer has offered to complete this year’s service for $4,500.
Starting in 2014 employees will complete one-third of their training every year.
J-E News Editor
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