Our Town Attorney, Meagan Logan, expressed the seriousness of how we have handled Local Option Fuel Tax (LOFT) funds. Attorney Logan provided the councilors with the statute and four Attorney General opinions of interest. Although the Legislature made an amendment in 2011 to include street light operations, etc, the Statute is very strict in that the money may be used only for “Transportation” purposes. Those of you who are truck drivers will understand the terminology because the definition of transportation at the State Level follows that definition of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC).
Not only did Attorney Logan research the Law herself, but she contacted various experts from other municipalities and areas relating to the matter. Furthermore there is no such utilization of 25% of the LOFT funds for salaries and the like. One must be very specific and earmark a salary which is involved with the work in the transportation definition (i.e. a contractor’s executive supervisor–which Tebo is not and has not been in the field much less having no knowledge of what the work entails; an employee paving roads, etc.). What we have been doing with our LOFT funds has been highly inappropriate. The LOFT allocations in our budget shall have to be redone and discussed at the next workshop on September 18th. Therefore the acceptance of the operating budget was tabled until it may be discussed at the Workshop to be held on September 18th. The Motion was made and seconded it and was passed 4-1 .with Spencer Lofton disagreeing. Apparently Mr. Lofton feels the budget should be accepted with the misuse of LOFT funds. There can be no other explanation except that as he and Rhett Bullard treated former attorney, Koberlein, in the past, by not heeding to Attorney Koberlein’s recommendations, Mr. Lofton apparently does not feel he has to listen to our new Town Attorney either.
Karin for the blog