State will audit city efficiency

(Posted Dec. 29, 2014)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

London City Council wants to know if and how the city’s departments can run more efficiently.

Council members voted unanimously Dec. 18 to hire the Auditor of State’s office to conduct a performance audit. The cost for the audit is $37,925.

“They’re going to look at the administrative functions of all of our departments and look at all of our union contracts,” said councilman Rodney Lauer, who sponsored the audit legislation.

“They’ll look at best practices and duplications of duties, then propose ways we can be more efficient… We need an outside group to really identify those things.”

The city has money left in its 2014 budget to cover the cost of the performance audit. Council decided to use the money and get the process started.

“Let’s start figuring out ways we can save money,” said councilman Trint Hatt.

Councilman Jason Schwaderer wanted to wait to approve the contract, voting against the suspension of rules that allowed for immediate approval. He did, however, vote in favor of awarding the contract.

The performance audit will take five to six months to complete, Lauer said.

Also at the Dec. 18 council meeting:

• Councilman Roger Morris introduced legislation to accept the donation of land to the city.

Landowner Roger Thompson wants to give the city about a half-acre of land he owns in the Oak Run flood plain. The four lots sit north of Willis Avenue and west of Madison Road.

The city’s comprehensive plan calls for protecting land in a flood plain from being developed. By accepting Thompson’s land, the city can make sure nothing is built on it, Morris said.

The legislation was left on first reading. Council will hold a second reading at its next regular meeting on Jan. 8.

• Fire Chief Todd Eades reported that the fire department held its first winter coat drive. The collection was held in conjunction with the toy drive the fire fighters organize each Christmas with Madison County Job and Family Services.

“We got requests for 100 coats. We were able to fill 70 of those requests,” Eades said.

The inspiration for the coat drive was last year’s super cold winter, he said, when school children were seen wearing lightweight jackets while waiting at bus stops.

An anonymous donation of $1,000 helped to kickstart the coat drive.

• Council set alternate dates for its January meetings. Normally, council meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month. Because the first Thursday in January 2015 is New Year’s Day, council shifted its meetings to Jan. 8 and Jan. 22. Both will take place at the usual time, 6:30 p.m., in council chambers, 6 E. Second St.

Upcoming council committee meetings are as follows: finance, Jan. 8, 5:30 p.m. in council chambers; safety/service, Jan. 12, 7 p.m. at the police department; and public service, Jan. 15, 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.

Like regular council meetings, all committee meetings also are open to the public.

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