WHITE SPRINGS — After two hearings to discuss the town’s tentative budget, the White Springs Town Council has yet to approve one.
After tabling discussion on the tentative budget at the Sept. 11 hearing, the council met again Sept. 17 for a special hearing on the budget.
There, the council approved by a 3-2 vote to hire a CPA to create the town’s budget. Spencer Lofton and Tonja Brown voted against hiring the CPA.
Mayor Helen Miller suggested the town hire a CPA after having concerns with prior budgets transferring funds from the enterprise fund to the general fund in order to pay salaries.
Miller said the CPA could create a budget that not only would fit the town’s needs the best, but it also could help the town from accusations of misappropriating funds.
Town Manager Stacy Tebo told the council the budget has been devised that way for years, and she reminded the council that it was running out of time for adopting the tentative and final budgets — the town council originally was scheduled to meet Monday to adopt the final budget.
Megan Logan, the town’s attorney, said that she believed that due to the state of emergency that the state was under for Hurricane Dorian, there was a possible extension to the time frame for municipalities to complete the budget process without facing a penalty.
Members of the council also had concerns about the town’s use of Local Option Fuel Taxes.
Policies regarding the allocation of LOFT revenue and the transferring of funds from enterprise to the general fund were tabled until a CPA is hired and completes the budget.
Logan said she would reach out to CPAs in order to quickly and efficiently locate one who is qualified and able to create a legal and efficient municipal budget for White Springs for the 2019-2020 budget year.
No date has been set for the continuation of the tentative budget hearing or the date for the final budget hearing.