McComb selectmen voted Tuesday to borrow $1.5 million from the city’s capital improvement fund, but not without a split among board members.

Michael Cameron and Ted Tullos made and seconded the motion  to borrow the money so the city will have enough funds to cover its bills until property taxes and holiday sales taxes start to be remitted to the city in January.

The move came a week after accountant and auditor Tommy Lindley told the board that the city appears to have less than $400,000 in reserve to carry the city to the first of the year.

During the previous week’s work session, Mayor Quordiniah Lockley noted that he had warned board members last year about making budget amendments.

However, the board had little choice about some of its budget amendments during this year. The unanticipated cleanup costs from the May 9 windstorm and tornado totaled about $600,000, and the total damage caused across the state that day did not meet the threshold for reimbursement by the state and federal emergency management agencies.

Selectman Ronnie Brock asked City Administrator Dirkland Smith where he proposed to make budget cuts so the city can repay the capital improvement fund, and whether there would be additional cuts to help build up the city’s reserve.

Smith said he had not yet come up with a plan for the repayment process, which must be completed by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2020.

Lindley had said repayment of the loan from the capital improvement fund by itself would take $115,000 in budget cuts per month, and rebuilding an adequate reserve would take that much again, for a total of $231,000 in budget cuts per month.

Without more information on the budget cuts proposed to cover the loan repayment and reserve funding, Brock and Devante Johnson voted against borrowing the capital improvement funds. Cameron, Tullos and Shawn Williams voted in favor.

The issue low reserves reared its head earlier in the meeting, when the selectmen considered the claims docket of $121,268.57 for the end of the month.

“Do we have enough money to cover this?” Johnson asked Smith.

Smith said the city still had the money to cover those bills.

In other business, the board:

• Accepted a quote of $5,844 for pest control serviecs from Orkin.

• Paid for prisoner housing at the Pike County Jail for $7,238.64.

• Closed city hall Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving, as well as Dec. 24-25 for Christmas.

• Approved an interlocal agreement with Pike County to accept and use $54,000 to renovate the Alpha Center in Baertown.

• Approved travel reimbursement to Lockley for a trip to Gulfport to the funeral of former mayor Baker Gunter.

• Renewed the city’s employee health insurance policies.

• Moved the Dec. 24 regular meeting to Dec. 23 at 10 a.m.

• Accepted privilege license fees and penalties of $4,030; rental property fees and penalties of $16,964.25; and transient vendor license fees of $25.

• Heard announcements of upcoming events, including the city Christmas parade at 10 a.m. Dec. 7; Painting Paws with Santa Claus at 6 p.m. Dec. 10 at Edgewood Mall; and a meeting for residents and property owners in the proposed entertainment district downtown Dec. 16 at the McComb Public Library.

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