City mulls changes with finances

Columbus is changing ordinances to allow electronic transfers of funds and payment of claims even when city boards cancel meetings.

Columbus City Council on Monday gave initial approval to the changes and will consider them for final approval April 4.

The city will continue to pay for certain items by check until the State Board of Accounts authorizes using electronic transfer, said Jamie Brinegar, city finance director. The city ordinance change will allow the city to use electronic transfer where authorized by the state, saving the city money, he said.

The second ordinance change adds language allowing claims to be paid in emergencies.

Brinegar said one example was that the city parks and recreation board was unable to meet but still had claims that needed to be paid. The city obtained approval from the State Board of Accounts, but Brinegar said the agency prefers that the city has the language within its ordinance, which will match state code.

The change means in emergency circumstances, the State Board of Accounts won’t have to be contacted for pre-approval, he said.

“This will avoid late payments, and if we have a small vendor needing the money, we can get it to them in a timely fashion,” Brinegar said. “This way, we’re paying our vendors on time and not paying any late fees.”

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com