Jonesboro Town Councilperson Nia Evans-Johnson asked the question all in attendance was eager to know at the monthly Board of Aldermen meeting that was held Tuesday evening at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center in Jonesboro.
“Do we have anyone in place that will be able to take over?”
The question was in regard to the letter of resignation that Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson received on March 31st that state that the accounting firm of Kenneth Folden and Associates would cease to service as the town’s accountant as of April 30th.
Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson indicated that there are avenues being explored that would hopefully make the transition seamless and that Folden has assured him that they would work with whoever is chosen to carry on the burden of handling the towns finances and reporting to legislative auditor requests.
Per language of the letter drafted by Kenneth Folden his company had fulfilled their agreed upon obligation of (1) working with auditors to complete Town’s fiscal year 2020 audit (2) Provide Louisiana Legislative Audtiors (LLA) and the Town Council monthly financial statements (3) Assist in grant administration.
Folden further identified that until the end of April his firm would continue to (1) Provide payroll and accounts payable assistance (2) Provide month end and quarter end payroll reports. (3) Provide month end financial statements for March (4) Provide any documentation to successor accountant.
In addition, the long-time Jackson Parish accountant stated that steps to retain new firm or personnel needed to be quickly taken due to several pressing matters that require immediate attention.
Folden closed by providing a reminder that his firm is still owed pay from several months in arrears but pledged to assist in helping make the changeover smooth.
In additional action the Board reviewed an expenditure sheet indicating where the $1,650,000.00 received from the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) has been spent or earmarked for. The board also agreed to dedicate $20,000.00 of ARPA money to replace the always troublesome waterline on Phil Street in Jonesboro. It was further agreed that is cost for the project exceeded the $20,000.00 that all additional money required would come from the general budget.
The meeting started with several people making public comments beginning with Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce Director Wilda Smith thanking the Mayor for supporting the beautification of downtown effort. She also acknowledged the Public Works department personnel for getting the fountain back in operation for the first time in 20 or so years and for volunteering their time for other projects.
Burl Brashear was next wanting to know more about what was going on in regard to the Phil Street water problem. He was followed by Christmas Parade Grand Marshal and Budget Inn owner, Vipak Patel, who asked the town council to do something regarding the number of street lights that are out all over the downtown area. Two additional residents then spoke about the problems of the roads at Rebecca Street and A Street.