City finances page added to website

Published on Thursday, 30 January 2014 23:20 - Written by By Faith Harper fharper@tylerpaper.com

Troup residents can now peek into its city’s finances without leaving their homes.

The Troup City Council approved a new financial responsibility page to be added to its website.

The tab went live Wednesday and features information on the city’s budget, payroll, debt service, taxes and audits.

It also features a link to a form for submitting a Freedom of Information request under the federal Freedom of Information Act, which dictates what information government entities must provide to the public.

“It’s the public’s information, so they might as well have simple and easy access to it,” Troup City Manager Gene Cottle said.

Cottle said the salaries are presented as gross numbers, and not by individual employees. However, reimbursement checks are keyword searchable on the site.

The current budget is in a raw format, which downloads to an Excel spreadsheet, so residents can manipulate the numbers if they choose, Cottle said.

The city already posts its council agendas and minutes, and thought the added information would be a benefit to the public.

“A lot of cities are already doing it and we would bring ourselves in line on what the norm was for most cities,” Cottle said. “We felt like the state of Texas is going to require this information to be posted (eventually), and we wanted to be ahead of the curve.”