City council members in Alto may be a step closer to finding answers for the city's financial situation after Monday's meeting.

During the meeting, members will hear a report from a financial audit of the past year's budget, along with some opinions and insights from an Audit Committee made up of council members.

“We found there were a number of procedural items and that certain monitoring procedures to prevent over-spending or over-budgeting need to be implemented so we can monitor the compliance with the budget by department heads and other people,” said councilman Charles Thomas. “Right now we don't even know if we're over budget until the following year's budget.”

The audit is standard procedure for cities, but the council decided to postpone the report until the committee could look at it more closely to determine what steps could be taken to fix the city's financial troubles.

Alto is currently short more than $180,000 and the council has been trying at past meetings to find a solution.

Measures ranging from selling the city's gas service, to eliminating positions and even closing the police department have been discussed at previous meetings, but council members felt waiting on action until the audit could be reviewed would be appropriate.

The city will also hear from a local non-profit organization which hopes to gain the city's support in hosting a service and resource fair for citizens.

Siu Chapa, vice president of The Chaparral Center in Alto, said they have organized almost 20 non-profit and service organizations to come to Alto to inform residents what services are available to them.

“It's a networking opportunity for both the community and for the non profits and government agencies,” she said. “It's just bringing these agencies and non-profits into Alto so residents can meet with them and learn what services area here and who they can call.”

Chapa said she plans to ask the city if they would like to help support the event.

The fair is scheduled for May 21 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Chaparral Center, located at 176 W. San Antonio St. in Alto.

The center is a non-profit organization begun by Chapa and her husband, Tony, established with the goal to “to help break the cycle of poverty in our community,” according to the organization's website.

Chapa said she hopes citizens and organizations alike will attend and join the fair.

“It's a networking opportunity for both the community and for the non profits and government agencies,” she said.

The Alto City Council meets the third Monday of each month at City Hall, located at 404 W. San Antonio St., at 6 p.m.

For a copy of the agenda, visit www.altotexas.com.  

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