Greenville, MO mayor speaks with residents about city's debt - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Greenville, MO mayor speaks with residents about city's debt

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

The troubles in Greenville, Missouri continue. In the spring, we told you about the battle between the newly elected mayor and the city clerk that led to a restraining order being filed.

Now, the mayor is dealing with a new issue – a nearly empty bank account and unpaid bills.

The  Missouri Highway Patrol is investigating into what's going on with the city's finances.

While that's happening, Mayor Carroll Rainwater said he's left figuring out how to fix it all.  

When we asked Mayor Carroll Rainwater "What is the first thing that came to your mind?," he said, "Where is all this money at?."

When Carroll Rainwater ended his first term as mayor of Greenville eight years ago, he said the small town had more than one hundred thousand dollars in the bank.

Now, Rainwater's back in office and shocked to see how little money was left.

"The first thing we did, the three of us [Rainwater, along with council members] went to the bank to look at the accounts and it was about $6,000 in all accounts total and there was about $25-30,000 in unpaid bills," he said.

Rainwater said he immediately knew something was wrong.

"I couldn't believe it!," Rainwater said. "I was shocked and is still shocked!"

Over the last few months, Rainwater and city council members have tried to figure out ways to pay off those bills.

After paying the majority of them, he said the city is left with $1,400, a few more bills to pay and an obligation to fix the problem.

"We got to do something," he said. "We don't have enough income to pay the thing right off and the penalties are going to keep building."

There is one possible solution: asking residents and business owners to pay an additional twenty dollars on their water bill.

Business owner and resident Holly Cook said she's going to need answers before paying more.

"We should know where the money has gone, who used the money, what they used it for, and why we should be the ones to pay it back when we've already paid it in once," Cook said. 

Cook had a chance to get those questions answered on Thursday, August 18 during a meeting on the city's financial problems.

Among the suggestions for solutions were a possible property tax or a sales tax.

KFVS 12 will continue to update viewers on the city's final solution and the Missouri Highway Patrol's investigation.

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