Council reluctantly approves unexpected bills

London City Council approved three auditor’s warrants following a lengthy discussion at Thursday’s meeting.

Auditor’s warrants, which require council’s approval for the bills to be paid, are needed when funds are not “encumbered,” or set aside in advance. Council members have expressed frustration with the number of auditor’s warrants coming to them for approval.

The three warrants were:

• $1,700 to Buckeye Septic Tanks Co., a repair bill needed after a septic line was hit near Fairhaven School. Council unanimously approved the warrant following an explanation from Dan Leavitt, sewage plant supervisor.

• $1,120.40 to Country Connections, a bill for Internet services at the London Community Center and London Municipal Pool from July 2014 to May 2015.

The bills were not paid because there is confusion over who was receiving them for the past year. Auditor Katie Hensel said a stack of old, unpaid bills was brought to her in March by newly-hired Parks and Recreation Department Director Tony Brake.

The warrant was approved, with Scaggs voting no.

• $1,456 to Miami Products and Chemical Company, a bill for bleach needed for the pool. Pool manager Linda Granger said she had ordered the chemicals not knowing proper procedures had not been put in place.

Granger said she would appreciate “if this were handled in a more professional manner,” and said the vendors should not be punished.

Scaggs suggested Granger communicate with her supervisor, Brake, about purchase orders before ordering supplies.

Scaggs also said it seemed as if 80 percent of auditor’s warrants come from the rec department.

Safety-services director Steve Hume, Brake’s supervisor, noted that Brake is the city’s newest department head and is still learning.

Hume told Scaggs he was “sorry that people make mistakes,” and said the last department director, Ben McCoy, resigned because he was “fed up with dealing with city council.”

Closser said that had never been communicated to council.

The warrant was approved, with Scaggs voting no.

Andrea McKinney can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619 or via Twitter @AndeeWrites.