Mayor asks Metropolis Council to fund new out of doors pool at Clinton YMCA | Information


The city of Clinton will ask an independent auditor to trace and explain the disappearance of $4 million from the city’s Electricity Rate Stabilization Fund.

The city’s former auditor suggested an independent auditor to track the money so the company wouldn’t be ready to conduct the city’s 2021-22 audit, Laurens’ Love Bailey CPAs; but that was the company listed on the City Council agenda as the preferred company to secure a “consensual procedure” contract to carry out the work. In fact, Councilor Danny Cook, himself a bank, applied to have Love Bailey retained, but withdrew the application when told the City was keeping Love Bailey for regular audit work.

“When did that happen?” Cook answered.

He asked for a dollar amount for the work ($35,000 was mentioned) and for a review of the council records to find out when Love Bailey was retained. As it turned out, City Manager Tom Brooks was authorized to request a call for proposals to carry out the work of “agreed procedures”, which is a step down from a “forensic examination”.

The action took place last week as part of a 1 hour and 53 minute open session dubbed the Council Session. There was also a closed session discussion to discuss two contracts.

One of these contracts was bonds for the police and the fire station. Following the discussion, Mayor Bob McLean also wanted to allocate money to build a swimming pool at the Clinton Family YMCA.

“Our kids don’t have a place to play,” said McLean, who will face at least one challenger in March’s local elections.

His idea was to take some leftover ARPA money for the pool and water play area at the Y on South Broad Street. There will also be a smaller “water feature” in the forthcoming City Recreation Complex off Highway 56, just past the Clinton Presbyterian Community towards I-26.

The Council stalled on McLean’s idea; At one point he ruled Council member Megan Walsh out of commission because she had talked about it too much.

Prosecutor Allen Wham also had concerns – he said a pool was not included among the talking points on the Dec. 12 agenda. McLean said the “recreation complex” was on the agenda and that the Clinton Y was and has been the city’s recreation provider for many years. He also said that “the use of ARPA funds” was listed as an agenda item – “I don’t think the federal government is going to give us $4 million again any time soon, so if we don’t do it now, we probably won’t.” done,” McLean said of a pool-splash-pad combo.

ARPA is the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan Act money designed to help states, cities and counties recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. McLean’s idea is to use some of the ARPA funds to raise a $7 million police fire project — the city has just over $5 million in bonds available for this project and this one alone project have to be spent – and the rest for a swimming pool.

Councilor Shirley Jenkins asked if it was free; McLean said he envisions a $3 per day fee for lifeguards and maintenance.

Councilor Robbie Neal said if the city went with an expanded splash guard at the recreation complex, they wouldn’t need lifeguards – “just parents watching their kids”. In the end, McLean withdrew his application for the pool, rather than for YMCA director Harold Nichols to meet with the council next month to discuss the feasibility of the pool splash pad. Brooks said he was looking at a $1.2 million pool for the Lakelands YMCA two years ago.

Walsh said: “We have to finish Police and Fire and the Rec Complex, projects that we started. Don’t do a pool without prior information, everyone wants a pool but that puts the cart before the horse.”

McLean said he wanted to “put that horse in front of that wagon and ride it.” It’s been 20 years since Clinton had an outdoor pool, the mayor said, and if the city wants to be a cool place, quality of life projects are essential.

In addition, the council approved a 27.47% increase in the fire service fee; but McLean said the money should go into the city’s general fund and be spent as an expense to the fire department, not as a fund within the fire department; awarded Southeast Apparatus a low bid contract for $599,911 to purchase a fire truck; and heard from Brooks that an employee pension plan will result in $120,000 in unbudgeted debt for the city — the council will consider these and other matters again when budget discussions begin next month.