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Council gets handle on how finances look for fiscal year; Wetzel resigns

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - They didn’t talk a lot about particular figures. Instead, members of the Shepherdsville City Council talked about what they wanted to see to better understand their financial situation.

In a special meeting Thursday, Tim Hance, who works for Accountemps and was retained to help unscramble the city’s financial records, was ready for questions about the six-month profit and loss report he prepared.

Councilman Garland Miller’s first question was why it has taken so long to get financial reports to the elected officials.

Hance said when he started there were a lot of problems. If no new problems arose, he knew it would be a six-month process, especially since the city was converting to Quick Books.

However, he did find problems. And an added problem was with payroll done by ADP. He estimated that 90-95 percent of the W-2 tax forms for employees were wrong.

In terms of the city’s problems, he found a lot of estimates were presented when the budget was approved last June.

“I’m trying to do more detail with accurate numbers,” said Hance.

He hopes that when the budget is ready for consideration this year, councilmembers will have much better figures to talk about.

“The bookkeeping was a mess and we had to figure out that system,” said Hance.

Councilman Larry Hatfield wondered by the report only showed expenses and revenue for half of the fiscal year. He said it would be better to know how much had been spent or generated based on a full budget year.

He was concerned that figures he received previously were different than ones received a couple of weeks ago.

Hance said there is new information coming in all the time. In terms of the sewer fund, he said more specific revenue numbers were received from Louisville Water Co., which does the billing.

In looking at the sewer fund, Hatfield said the net income said the city had a profit of $1.3 million during the first six months.

He asked if taking that figure and subtracting the January bills should give an estimate of what money is in the bank.

Hance said that’s not necessarily true, especially if there are bills that haven’t been paid and deducted in the profit and loss report.

He also questioned the engineering bills to QK4 and whether they were all reported in the sewer fund. From July through December, Hatfield said the city paid over $145,000 in engineering fees but the report only has $54,652.

Hance said that some of the bills were from before July 1 and would be in last year’s report. Also, some of the projects done were for the city had would be listed in the general fund.

“I want to make sure we are all on the same page together,” said Hatfield.

The accountant said he could come up with a 12-month report, which is what councilman Bernie Brown said is needed.

Another question was whether the bond payments were shown in the report. There was some concern that while there was a profit, in terms expenses and revenue, there might be higher costs coming in the final six months of the fiscal year.

Hatfield added that he wanted something to help him understand exactly where the city stands at any given time.

Hance said a system could be done but it would take time. He said recording revenue is much easier since expenses are entered at different times.

He was very confident of the sewer fund figures but there is still work to be done on the general fund.

He is also waiting for the final audit of the previous fiscal year to be finalized. Those give the accurate starting figures for the new fiscal year.

Hatfield said the budget would have to be amended, which is a common practice for most governmental agencies near the end of each fiscal year.

At the same time, Hatfield said something must be worked out so the city can stop paying $2,000 a week for the outside accounting service.

Brown said the city leaders just couldn’t wait eight months into the fiscal year to get financial figures.

In looking at the figures through six months, the city’s general fund appears to net revenues of $3.2 million, which is about 5 percent below budget. However, on the expense side, cutbacks have allowed the city to go 35 percent below its budget.

The net result is that the city has generated net income of $1 million.

In the sewer fund, a 66 percent rate increase helped generate $2.56 million in revenue, which is nearly 25 percent above budget.

For expenses, the city didn’t do as well with costs of $1.2 million, which is 5 percent over budget.

Combined, the sewer fund generated a net income of $1.33 million over the first six months, which is 50 percent above budget.

“It looks a lot better than six months ago,” Hatfield said of the budget.

“It’s been some pretty painful things we had to do,” said Brown.

However, mayor Scott Ellis said the council did what it had to do.

“The popular things have gotten us in this shape in the first place,” said Ellis.

Hance and Ellis plan to meet with supervisors and a couple of councilmembers to see what type of report would better give elected officials a quicker and easier look at the financial status.

 

Wetzel resigns from council

 

Alan Wetzel announced Monday that he would resign from the Shepherdsville City Council effective at the end of February.

Wetzel, who first served as a councilman after the 2004 election, said he was moving to LaGrange.

He served three terms on the council but did not file for re-election in January.

“I’ve strived to do the best,” Wetzel said of his time on the council.

Mayor Scott Ellis thanked Wetzel for his work. He spent a lot of time working on the southern sewer line which has now opened up hundreds of acres for future development.

The council will vote upon a replacement who will serve out Wetzel’s term, which ends in December.