"They want some kind assurance from this body and the council that we are, in fact, working on this," Leigh said during a recent
Other council members have also heard from a number of constituents since it was revealed in late April that annual
"I think the important thing for the constituents is to keep communicating with them to reassure them that it's not just going to be dropped," said
The loan was part of a state-funded flood recovery program, according to an audit report released last week. It was used to construct the building that now houses the
A few months
City officials have held a closed-door meeting with
Murphy said Friday that city officials are trying to determine the best way to recoup loan payments.
"We're trying to figure out what our most viable option is," he said.
Efforts to contact Mayor Stauss late this week were unsuccessful, but he said after a
"I'm learning for the first time (about the outstanding loan), as the other council members are," he added.
Buckalew said Mayor Stauss is "not a stockholder" in
"I can't speak for him, all I can say is he's not a stockholder so he's not involved," he said.
Meanwhile, an independent audit report that was made public last week pointed to questions with other loans and EDHA processes, and recommended putting written procedures in place for reviewing, approving and monitoring loans. Murphy said they've already implemented recommendations from
Murphy also said last week he will research the possibility of contracting out the housing duties of the EDHA, while keeping economic development a city function. The department has been led by Murphy and city staffers
"Whether we change the structure of the (EDHA) is yet to be seen," Buckalew said. "I think everything right now is open for conversation, as it should be."
"It's going to be closely monitored," he said. Tweten added that council members aren't "holding back any information, contrary to what some people might say."
"We're not sweeping anything under the rug," Tweten said. "I wouldn't go for that."
Murphy went on the radio Friday to take calls from residents regarding the EDHA and the unpaid loan.
"All we can do now is move forward now and correct the mistakes that have been made in the past," Leigh said.
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