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Tryon approves new financial policies

TRYON-The Town of Tryon now has new policies regarding finances and employees driving after commissioners approved new policies during the town’s Aug. 15 meeting.

Council met and approved the second and final reading of new financial policies requested to be implemented by the N.C. Local Government Commission (LGC) and a new driving policy, suggested by the town’s insurance company.

Tryon approved the first reading of the new policies in June.

The policy includes a new credit card purchasing policy as well as a goal for the town to keep a 30 percent or greater fund balance.

“For the General Fund, management shall conduct the business of the town is such a manner that available fund balance is at least equal to or greater than 30 percent of budgeted expenditures for the succeeding fiscal year,” states the policy.

The policy goes on to say the board may appropriate fund balances that will reduce the available fund balance below the percentage established above for the purpose of a declared fiscal emergency or other such global purpose as to protect the long-term fiscal security of the town.

“In such circumstances, the board will adopt a plan to restore the available fund balances to the policy level within 36 months from the date of appropriation,” states the policy. “If restoration cannot be accomplished within such time without severe hardship to the town, then the board will establish a different but appropriate time.”

Tryon’s available fund balance at the end of fiscal year 2016-2017, which was the last audited year, was $210,120, or 13.6 percent.

On credit cards, the town’s draft policy states that the town manager is authorized on behalf of the Town of Tryon to make appropriate application for Visa credit cards and that no charge may be made against such credit cards unless the town’s budget ordinance includes an appropriation authorizing such charge.

The policy states that if someone charges an item to a town credit card, the charge must be verified with a receipt or the employee will be held personally responsible for the charge.

Although not mentioned as the reason for the new credit card policy in the town’s discussion, in January, the town fired then fire chief Joey Davis for using a town credit card to pay for then commissioner Roy Miller’s personal bills. Miller resigned on June 1 and both Miller and Davis are currently facing charges in federal court. Davis was charged with federal program fraud conspiracy and Miller was charged with federal program fraud conspiracy, federal program fraud, extortion under color of official right and witness tampering.

The federal court cases for both Miller and Davis have been continued in federal court in Asheville until Sept. 5.