SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Shepherdsville City Council held a special meeting Feb. 7 to discuss ways to tackle the financial mess it faces.
Councilmember Bernard Brown asked two financial experts to speak to the council. He believes their helps is needed to get the city back on track. Part of the team's proposal was simple budgeting. For example: looking at how much money the city has, how much revenue it brings in, its expenses and how much it owes; then the council can look at planning for the future.
"It's going to cost us money, yes, but in the long run I think it will save," Brown said.
It would cost the council $150 an hour to hire the team. The situation is so dire - a $4 million hole - that city leaders had to ask those financial experts how much they cost before they could make a decision to hire them. Council members will decide to hire the team during a special meeting which has not yet been scheduled.
"I know we don't want to jump out of the frying pan into the fire, but there are some things, in my opinion, that should have already been done," Brown said.
Shepherdsville residents Sue and Mike Smothers attended the meeting because they want to keep up to date. Mike has a son and a nephew who work with the fire department.
"What's going to happen?" asked Sue Smothers. "What's going to happen to the people in the city?"
"I hope they kind of slow down and think about what they're doing," said Mike Smothers. "Even though I don't think they're moving as fast. You gotta quit talking sometimes and start acting."
Mayor Scott Ellis says that is what he has been doing with the help of department heads. He says the city owes $2 million on the sewer project, $1.2 million on the sewer fund, and then it has a nearly $900,000 budget gap. He says the shortfall could mean the lost of eight to 10 jobs.
"It's a lot, but when you have to cut $5 million from your general fund that's a lot," Ellis said. "And I don't like it. I don't like it at all. I mean, you're messing with people's lives."
At least three members said they will not take another paycheck until the city can clear up its financial situation.