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East Spencer hires Southern Pines company to assist with bookkeeping

By Shavonne Potts

shavonne.potts@salisburypost.com

EAST SPENCER — The town of East Spencer has outgrown its QuickBooks accounting software and has elected to use a Southern Pines software company to assist with the bookkeeping process.

On Monday night, the town board agreed to move forward with Southern Software Inc. for its payroll and accounting needs. Town Administrator James Bennett, Town Clerk ShaTira Bailey and Mayor Barbara Mallett met with the company earlier the same day for nearly four hours.

“We have outgrown QuickBooks it will no longer hold the activities that we have,” Mallett said.

In the last several years, the town has applied and received millions of dollars in grant funding for various projects, including a renovation to Royal Giants Park, housing rehab grants, water and sewer grants as well as fire grants.

Also on Monday, the town board voted to allow Fire Chief Shawn McBride to apply for a grant that would allow the purchase of a crew cab truck. According to information provided by the board, if the grant is successful, the town would be obligated to pay the full amount of $33,091.49 and would be reimbursed half that amount. If the town is not awarded, then it will not buy a truck.

Before the meeting, Town Administrator James Bennett refused to provide the Post with Monday’s agenda and accompanying attachments, which are public records. A Post reporter then spoke with Mayor Barbara Mallett and Town Attorney Jeff Morris, who provided the information.

Morris said he would share the reporter’s concerns with his client, the town of East Spencer.

“I am forwarding you my copy of the full board packet, which is indeed a public record under NCGS § 132-1(a), since it is a document that was made in connection with the transaction of public business by the Town of East Spencer,” Morris said.
In other matters:
• The board approved working with the Debt Setoff Clearinghouse, an organization that works with local governments to help them recover any delinquent debts by offsetting debtors’ state tax refunds.
• The board agreed to offload surplus equipment via auction. Some of the items include lawnmowers, a street sweeper and a dump truck.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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