Employees of the county may soon be following state mandated travel expense reimbursement policy as magistrates look to adopt the Commonwealth’s ways of spending taxpayer’s money when they attend conferences or trainings. Nothing has been noted to have caused the change other than a recent audit. The change could be coming as soon as the next fiscal court meeting as County Attorney Joe Ross complies a new policy to mirror that in which state employees follow.
At the Tuesday, Jan. 10 meeting of the Logan County Fiscal Court, policy concerning travel expenses appeared on the agenda. Magistrate Thomas Bouldin expressed a need to separate expenses per meal instead of allowing one lump sum per day. He didn’t believe anyone was misusing the current policy, but did feel a breakdown per meal would be beneficial.
Receipts and any preprinted original invoice or statement, from a hotel, motel, restaurant, or other establishment, showing the date of service, the amount charged for the service, the location where the service was performed, and a description of the expense is currently required. This would stay the same if the county adopted state policy.
“If you are given $30 a day for meals and you are gone less than a day, you could technically spend $30 on breakfast,” said Bouldin.
Emergency Communications Center (ECC) Director Ginger Lawrence chimed in saying there are times when ECC employees attend trainings and they don’t want to eat breakfast. They may have a lite lunch and save their allotment for a heartier dinner. She said when they stay at a state park food is expensive.
“Sometimes we go to Wal-Mart and buy breakfast bars for the morning,” said Lawrence. “We save our allotment for a better nighttime meal.”
Bouldin said he didn’t blame Lawrence and understood. He said he would do that himself most likely, however, he felt it may be better to split up the expenses per meal making all travel the same despite how long the trip is.
No county employee is allowed to spend money on the county’s credit card for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.