In today’s edition, you will find a five-page list of all the non-payroll checks issued by the City of Grenada in the 12-month calendar year 2013. The list was provided by the city in an Excel file and has not been altered by the newspaper except to sort by check payee. This list is published at no cost by the GrenadaStar as a service to taxpayers.
Please check it over to see how your tax money is being spent and let your city councilman know your views.
As we looked over the check register, a few items caught our attention:
Too many phones?
In 2013, the city spent almost $9,000 a month for telephones and telephone-related items. We added the monthly bills from Verizon, AT&T, AT&T Mobility, C Spire, and Southern Telephone and came up with a grand total of $101,488. Perhaps some sort of bundled bid could bring this total down. Maybe the city does not need to pay for so many cell phones.
How many television sets?
Cable One, Direct TV, and Dish Network cost the city $8,700 per year. Some of this total may include Internet hookup.
The city spends far too much for city council travel.
According to our figures, the City Council (including the City Manager) spent over $68,500 last year – plus another $24,786 paid directly to the Beau Rivage in connection with the Mississippi Municipal League
convention and other items. The total is $93,000.
We have pointed this extravagance out in the past and one or two members of the City Council have assured us that the ideas they bring back from these trips
actually save the city money and are a great benefit to taxpayers. We have asked for written details on these benefits but have not received any detail.
The City spends over $42,000 annually with Cintas, presumably this is for uniforms.
Last year the City issued checks totaling $243,646 to the Grenada Tourism Commission. This is half of the Tourism Tax collected on prepared food and hotel rooms. The other half, as stated by 1992 law, goes to City Hall.
“The proceeds of the tax shall not be considered by the city as general fund revenues…” according to the legislation.