Mercer wants more budget updates

Published 3:47 pm Friday, July 18, 2014

Washington City Councilman Doug Mercer expressed concern at Monday’s meeting about reviewing the cost of projects and expenses funded by the city.

Currently, Mercer, and the other four members of City Council, sees purchase orders greater than $20,000 to get final approval, even if it is in the budget, according to city statutes.

Mercer now wants to review purchase orders of items for projects bought in pieces because he doesn’t want things to get around council with the members not knowing about it, he said.

“Part of that, and what we’ve tried to do with our project update every month, is try and get that information to them so they can watch those projects,” said Brian Alligood, Washington’s city manager.

Alligood said anything less than $20,000 doesn’t have to get councils approval.

“Projects could substantially be below $20,000, but add up to,” Mercer said. “I would like the opportunity when they get ready to do a project and they say, ‘here’s the project here’s what we think it’s going to be.’”

City officials wants council to know how much money is going into projects, and assure them the city won’t go over budget.

“Obviously there has to be money budgeted for things because we just can’t spend money that’s not budgeted,” Alligood said.

Mercer said he wants to be updated throughout the project about costs and he doesn’t think it’s an unusual request.

“That’s fair. That’s appropriate for them to understand exactly going on,” Alligood said.

Alligood said some big projects might be done in pieces — like the city may purchase the material because it could be cheaper that way — and less than $20,000.

“If individual pieces of it require purchase orders more than $20,000, I will see those because we see all purchase orders greater than $20,000. Many pieces can be less than $20,000 and I would just like to have an update when we start a project,” Mercer said.

The next Washington City Council meeting is July 28 at 5:30 p.m.

About Tony Black

252-946-2144 ext. 231

email author More by Tony