McComb officials discussed financial matters, including the impact of the coronavirus on city coffers as well as an update from the accounting firm handling the city’s 2018 audit.
The meeting followed a specially called meeting and executive session, which lasted two hours, and the only board members in attendance were Mayor Quordiniah Lockley, Selectman Shawn Williams and board attorney Angela Cockerham.
The city hall boardroom, usually filled with department heads and polite chatter, laid mostly empty in the wake of Gov. Tate Reeves’ executive order requiring all Mississippians to shelter in place.
“Work sessions are informal. It does not require board members to be present,” Lockley said. “Because of the coronavirus, we asked that department heads call in to make sure we stay within the number of 10 or less at a gathering.”
Lockley took a moment to discuss the financial impact of the coronavirus.
“I really wanted to talk to the board about the impact that this coronavirus will have on our revenue,” Lockley said. “Just as it affects individual households, the city of McComb is not different. Half of our operation fund comes from sales taxes, and because businesses have closed for this period in time, that will be revenue that we will not receive; therefore, it is going to require us to tighten our belts again.
“Please be aware that it is going to affect our projected revenues, and it may even hit our projected revenues for property taxes. This coronavirus is hurting us just as it is hurting individual families.”
The board discussed the $10,977 payment to Haddox, Reid, Eubanks, Betts for the work accountant Tommy Lindley has put into balancing and reconciling the city’s 2018 financials. Lockley said officials will also get an update on the status of the 2018 audit during the next week's meeting.
“It is my understanding that they have done quite a bit of work, and some of it has been turned over to the auditor,” Lockley said.
The board also discussed a memorandum of understanding between the city and the Mississippi Department of Finance for a $100,000 bond. The money for this bond was previously brought up in the board concerning the construction of a pool, but recreations director Joyce Smith wanted to use the money to upgrade parks.
“If you look at that MOU that was signed in by yours truly, it does not clearly designate it for a swimming pool. It was designated for recreation,” Lockley said, referring to a document signed in Dec. 2018.
The board will also talked about the remodeling of the Alpha Center.
“I wish Mrs. Joyce was here,” Lockley said. “It is my understand Mrs. Joyce talked to the C.A. in reference to the contractor who was supposed to do the bathrooms had a subcontractor. The subcontractor backed out on him, so he is not able to fulfill that.”
Board attorney Angela Cockerham told Lockley that the board would have to vote next meeting for the recreation director to go to the next contract or start the bidding process over again.
Other payments were also mentioned during the meeting. The board will vote in next week's meeting to pay Wise-Carter and Cockerham $4,190 from the general obligation bond and a $900 payment to Hancock Whitney Bank for the McComb 2017 tax increment financing series.
Lockley said the payment to Cockerham was for her work as an advising attorney on issuing of the general obligation bond.
“We had to pay the financial advisor. We had to pay the bond attorney. We had to pay the bank, and the final one is to Wise-Carter,” Lockley said.
Lockley also announced that the Mississippi Municipal League’s annual convention will be pushed back to September so, the city had to cancel their hotel reservations and reschedule them. Lockley also said City Hall would be closed Good Friday.