PTC may jettison assistance for DAPC, WASA and tourism

Thu, 06/07/2007 - 5:04pm
By: The Citizen

In the first version of the 2007-2008 budget proposal for Peachtree City, city staff proposed hiring three new full-time employees, including an additional accountant for the finance department.

The City Council will look at another possibility also: divesting the finance department of extra work it conducts for city-related entities such as the Development Authority of Peachtree City, the city’s Water and Sewer Authority and the city’s Tourism Association.

Finance Director Paul Salvatore told Council Tuesday night that the workload on his department is about to increase substantially because of new requirements for accounting standards resulting from the Sarbanes Oxley Act. The department has also experienced an increase in other duties, he said, including the addition of overseeing funds for the transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, the newly created stormwater utility an increase in transactions citywide.

Without the additional position, the city could run into trouble meeting its audit requirements, Salvatore said.

Salvatore noted that the DAPC work takes up quite a bit of time for Assistant Finance Director Janet Camburn. She said it averaged about 20 hours a week and she does the DAPC work on top of her regular duties, usually on nights and weekends.

“That needs to change, too,” said Councilwoman Cyndi Plunkett.

The city finance department also does work on financial statements for WASA along with the agency’s payroll and accounts payable.

Typically those agencies pay the city to reimburse it for the hours worked by the finance staff. But Councilwoman Judi-ann Rutherford said she doubted those payments actually accounted for all of the employees’ time spent on those tasks not directly related to the city.

WASA, DAPC and the Tourism Association are all separate entities with separate budgets, although the board of directors for each agency are appointed by the City Council.

Council members asked staff to prepare a list of all the different agencies the finance department works for so

Salvatore noted that the city directly funds the Development Authority, whereas it does not fund WASA at all and it only provides hotel-motel tax funds to the Tourism Association.

Also in the proposed budget is a 2 percent cost of living raise for all city employees and the same pay for performance bonus structure as last year, with no cap on how many employees in a department or division can earn the highest bonus of 4.5 percent.

A cap on that figure was proposed last year by City Manager Bernie McMullen but it was withdrawn after council balked at the measure.

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