The El Dorado City Council Finance Committee will convene for a meeting at noon today in hopes of shoring up a last bit of business that is needed to approve a 2021 city budget.
The meeting will be held in the second-floor conference room of City Hall.
The finance committee has scheduled individual meetings with city department heads to review proposed budgets for each department.
City officials will start with a brief discussion after the meeting is called to order and follow up with the El Dorado Police Department at 12:30 p.m.
The El Dorado Fire Department and South Arkansas Regional Airport at Goodwin Field are scheduled next at 1 and 1:30 p.m., respectively, each at 30 minute-intervals.
Forty-five minutes have been allotted to Mayor Veronica Smith-Creer to present the city’s administration budget and Robert Edmonds, director of public works, will have an hour to present his budget, which includes the El Dorado Water Utilities and the street, sanitation, recycling, parks, code enforcement and animal control departments.
During the finance committee’s last meeting June 28, the group heard an update on efforts by local accounting firm Emrich and Scroggins to reconcile bank statements and organize the city’s financial records.
The firm has been working on the project since March, having been hired by the finance committee in the wake of the termination of former City Treasurer Trena Dean.
The city has continued to operate under the 2020 budget until books can be sorted out, fiscal year 2020 closed out and a 2021 budget approved.
On June 28, E&S partner Stacy Scroggins reported that the firm had reconciled bank statements through April and were closing in on the end of May.
Scroggins said the firm was also waiting for some city departments to submit their payroll rosters, which, Council Member Judy Ward said, was a “glaring omission” from the report E&S presented during the meeting.
“Some departments have submitted them and some are still putting them together,” said Vance Williamson, chairman of the finance committee.
The finance committee agreed to reconvene today with city department heads, repeating part of the 2021 budgeting process that it underwent last fall, to review budget proposals with fresh numbers from E&S.
City officials have said that after giving the various budgets another look, they hope to be ready to vote on a 2021 city budget during a regular city council meeting that is slated for 5:25 p.m. Thursday in the Council Chamber of City Hall.
“We’ll, hopefully, be able to put a document together with those adjustments from Emrich and Scroggins and then go to (City Attorney Henry Kinslow) to draft an ordinance,” Williamson said.