By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
Williamsburg can breathe a sigh of relief after receiving its audit report.
The Williamsburg City Council received the final copy of the audit report conducted by Marr, Miller & Myers, PSC, in Corbin.
“In our opinion,” the report states. “The financial statements…present fairly, in all material respects, the respective financial position of the governmental activities, the business-type activities, (and other funds concerning) the city of Williamsburg…”
The report also stated the city was in conformity with accepted accounting principles.
Council Member Richard Foley said he “had the same concerns as last year” involving the city’s monies, however, with a motion from Council Member Troy Sharp and a second from Council Member Laurel West, the council unanimously agreed to accept the audit.
In other council business:
— A rampant feral cat problem in the city of Williamsburg will now be addressed, thanks to grant monies from PetSmart.
During the regular meeting of the Williamsburg City Council Monday, council members learned the city received a $21,900 grant.
The grant will fund a “TNR” program, which means Trap, Neuter, and Release. Besides neutering, the cats will be given rabies vaccinations.
The funding covers 375 felines for the program. To avoid capturing the same cat twice, the animal will have a notch placed on the ear.
There are more than 1,500 of these cats colonizing various points throughout the city. However, once these 375 cats are handled, more grant funding could come the city’s way.
Areas of particular concern include behind the mall, near the tourism office, next to the fire department and along 10th Street.
No decision was required by council.
— Two people addressed council members during the meeting Monday.
William Wood, who recently moved to the area from Concord, N.C., approached the council during the public comment portion of the evening.
He explained he was involved in mission work, and that in his travels he assisted other communities in writing grant proposals. Wood expressed interest in helping the city, especially by “tapping into the tourist industry business,” and looking into long-term economic development.
Harrison said the city does Community Development Block Grants to help the city, and expressed his appreciation for the offer.
Jimmy Perkins, of Whitley County, requested more attention be paid by the Williamsburg Police Department to drivers who go around stopped school buses. During Monday’s meeting, Chief Wayne Bird warned speeders that tickets would be on the rise. He told Perkins and council members he planned that as well.
— A resolution concerning the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan was unanimously approved by council members Monday.
Mayor Roddy Harrison said the plan is required by FEMA, adding he met with representatives from several counties throughout the Cumberland Valley Area Development District.
According to Harrison, “We need the measure to help prepare for natural disasters, and to apply for funds after the disaster.”
Foley motioned for approval, with a second from West. Council was unanimous in its decision.
— An updated personnel policy for the city of Williamsburg received its first read Monday.
No action was required by council for this.
Some of the changes to the policy include adding two more holidays to the list — Christmas Eve and Good Friday.
Also new to the policy is any employee eligible for four weeks vacation may choose to receive payment for one week of said vacation instead of actually taking the week off. The amendment states,
“However, payment for said week shall be paid at the end of (the) employee’s anniversary date only and at a rate of 40 hours times the current minimum wage rate.”
Other changes include no longer requiring new city employees undergo a physical examination prior to starting their employment; and a day also may be taken off for an employee’s birthday, however, now the day must be taken in the same month as the birthday; sick time may not be transferred to other employees.
The next meeting of the city council will be 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11.