08/08/06 — Pikeville Town Board hears auditor's report

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Pikeville Town Board hears auditor's report

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on August 8, 2006 1:45 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Pikeville officials said Monday night they are hopeful that changes in some financial policies recommended by an auditor will help save money.

C. Keith Peedin conducted an audit of the town's books and presented his recommendations to the town Board of Commissioners.

Peedin said utility services such as water, sewer and electricity should be self-sustaining.

He recommended raising the deposit for new utility customers, noting that the town lost $5,000 in the past year from customers leaving the town without settling up their bill. A larger deposit would help ease that financial burden, he said.

The town also will be able to save money by fixing leaky water lines, Peedin said. Town officials said they are in the process of repairing major leaks along Booker Street and will test the rest of the town's lines to determine if other leaks need fixing.

Town Administrator Bob Buchanan had a list of suggestions for saving money. For example, he said, the town should start charging for photocopies and faxes instead of providing the services for free.

He also recommended establishing a $25 connection fee for utilities.

The commissioners approved Buchanan's suggestions and plan to discuss them further at next month's meeting.

"Some of these things have been draining funds in all areas that we have to pay for. We should all look at it and make the best choices," Commissioner Johnny Weaver said.

Town resident Dennis Lewis said the audit was unnecessary and called it a "witch hunt."

But Mayor Herb Sieger said board members believed the audit will help the town better monitor its financial policies and save money.

Peedin said he did not find any unusual or unnecessary allocations of taxpayers' money and that the audit was not conducted as a witch-hunt.