Clarksville, TN – Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan met with Airport Authority board member Dr. Ron Whitford today to settle financial questions related to the new airport terminal project. Claims and counter claims have been made in recent weeks concerning the project, with some board members accusing the City of Clarksville of “malfeasance.”
Issues arose when the city did not make payments allocated for the new terminal, that were tied to federal grants provided for the project. Accusations were running rampant that there was “over charges” tied to change orders that were not a part of the project, something that board members vehemently denied. “Our books are open for anyone to see.” said Jerry Clark, the project manager. “Any change orders related to this project were well within the acceptable limits of any project of this nature, and the implication that there has been mismanagement is absurd.” Clark said.Whitford informed fellow board members that his meeting with McMillan went “very well”, and the Mayor told him that she would immediately talk with the finance department about releasing all the money allocated for the airport terminal, and introduce a new resolution for the $102,000 needed to balance the budget to replace the local share money that had not been paid for grants the airport has already received, an issue that had caused the current controversy.
During their meeting today, it was determined that the entire problem was a miscommunication involving three different accounting systems. City and County finance officials met last Friday to try and determine where the problem was. Airport manager John Patterson was also at that meeting with spread sheets and itemized accounting of what has been billed, and what money the airport has received.
As of today, the money problems were still unresolved, and the board was extremely upset at how they were portrayed at yesterday’s executive session, during Finance Commissioner Ben Griffin’s report.
Mayor McMillan had said in an e-mail last week, that all of the invoices had been paid to date, and the city would continue to pay it’s obligations. Whitford said he felt “much better” after today’s meeting with the Mayor.
Both Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan and Dr. Ron Whitford will be interviewed tomorrow on 1400 WJZM at 8:00am on “Clarksville in Review”.