The Forest City City Council approved increasing the max allowance on the city administrator’s city credit card from $2,000 to $5,000 during their meeting Aug. 19.
Currently, employees have a $2,000 limit on their credit card, but previously they had a card with a $5,000 limit that could “pretty much take care of everything,” according to Smith.
“We had this situation come up just a couple weeks ago,” city administrator Barb Smith said.
A couple weeks ago, Smith and deputy clerk Val Monson had returned from a clerk school, during which they had to pay for hotel rooms, food and everything that comes with a trip. When they returned to Forest City, Smith had to pay for the city email addresses, which cost $2,400.
“I would like to pay for that once a year because it’s a little over $2,000,” Smith said. “Can’t do it because my credit limit is $2,000.”
The alternative to paying for the email addresses once a year is paying for them once a month and coding everyone’s email address separately.
“It’s not something we would need all the time, but it’s something every now and then comes up, but $2,000 on the [credit card] for city hall just isn’t enough,” Smith said.
Smith said they have to pay some of their yearly payments, such as the email addresses, by credit card.
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Smith requested a card limit up to $5,000 because the yearly payments, such as the $2,400 email addresses bill, combined with any training she has/* to attend all adds up quickly.
When asked if $3,000 would be a good limit, Smith said that would leave her only $600 to cover any training costs, such as hotel rooms, which would not be enough.
“You never know when it’s going to come up,” Smith said. “When the emails need to be paid, they need to be paid or they’ll shut them off, pretty much.”
According to Smith, when everyone’s city hall card is totaled together, they are nowhere near the $5,000 mark she is requesting.
The main concern of the council was if the card is stolen or if identity theft occurs, but those concerns were quickly laid to rest on the grounds of insurance.
Councilmember Karl Wooldridge said it doesn’t really matter if the limit is $3,000 or $5,000, because something will always come up and the city will always have to pay the bill.
“Before you had $5,000, every once in a while something’s going to come up, like you said – this and then this and then this – and to me, instead of coming back, $2,000, $3,000, $5,000, at some point we’re writing a check for all of it, so is it really that important if it’s $3,000 versus $5,000?” Wooldridge said. “Honestly not. And if for some reason the credit card is stolen, there’s insurance for that.”