City staff members have been compiling information on previous loans in recent weeks. But City Administrator
"We were just trying to get a handle on what was out there, because there wasn't always a lot of documentation on it," Murphy said.
Murphy said the city took on the project after an independent audit revealed problems with city economic development loans, including a lack of documentation. That audit only looked at the past three years worth of loans, Murphy said.
A spreadsheet compiled by a city intern and provided to the Herald by Murphy shows more than 20 business loans, many of which are missing some information.
The documentation is not conclusive or complete on a majority of these," Murphy said. He said he wasn't exactly sure why information was missing, but said there had been some poor record-keeping and that it's possible that some records were destroyed in the 1997
The city's longtime
Richter didn't return a message left at his home this week.
Lack of info
The spreadsheet divides the loans into several types, like the
Next to a
Similarly, the sheet indicates two loans totaling
Murphy said loan files should include information like a loan agreement, amortization schedule and receipts. In some instances, Murphy said they were alerted to existence of a loan because it was referenced in meeting minutes.
Making the city's efforts even harder is that some businesses included on the spreadsheet are no longer operating. A
"I doubt on some of these that we'll ever really be able to conclusively find anything one way or another," said Murphy, who became the city's administrator last fall.
"It's a very frustrating thing for me because I'm asked questions that we should have the answers to," he later said.
Murphy said the loan documentation project will take a back seat for a few months until a new economic development director is hired. He said he hopes to have one in place by December.
"We're down staff on it," Murphy said. "This is really on hold until we get somebody new in place."
An official with the
In the meantime, Murphy said the city has put a checklist in place to make sure all new loan documentation is in order.
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