City of Wells faces budget crisis - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

City of Wells faces budget crisis

Chief Jeff Clopp Chief Jeff Clopp
Roy White Roy White
WELLS, TX (KTRE) -

By Morgan Thomas - email

WELLS, Texas (KTRE) - Mayor Robert Kalka confirms the city of Wells is $8,000 in the hole.

"The city tells me they're extremely broke," Police Chief Jeff Clopp said.

Clopp is the only man on the force.

"I pretty much work seven days a week," he said. "I don't refuse a call."

For a part-time employee that's a lot of overtime.

Water Superintendent John Collins is working on the city's antiquated sewer lines.

It's a project, along with the chief's extra pay, that's causing the funding conundrum.

"My experience running the city is shallow, but yeah, I'm sure a city can go bankrupt," former mayor Roy White said.

White says it's no surprise there's a budget crunch.

"You really need to look down the road and looking as far as a year ahead wouldn't be too bad and on some projects like the water system you may need to look much further than that," White said.

He resigned after only seven months after becoming frustrated with other city leaders.

"Five council members and you get three of them going one way, then things going to be done that way," White said.

For the city of Wells to really fix their financial problems, both the former city mayor and the police chief say it's time for city leaders to step up and make some big decisions.

"Eight thousand dollars in debt for a city this size?" White said. "You bet they're going to have to make some tough decisions and they're going to have to stick to them."

The current mayor says they're looking at ways to trim the budget, but offered nothing specific.

Clopp suggests he become a salaried employee which would eliminate overtime.

The city will also have to find ways to increase revenue.

City leaders hope to come up with some real answers during a budget workshop next week.

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