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Part 1 of 2: City of Ashland budgets $127k for travel and training | News

This is the first in a two-part series on the city’s travel and training spending so far in 2017. Look for part 2 in the Aug. 14 print edition of The Daily Independent.

ASHLAND The City of Ashland has spent more than $38,000 this year on travel and training for employees, not including members of the police and fire departments.

The city reimburses or provides travel advances to its personnel for mileage and meals if they drive outside the local area for work-related trips or trainings. The city also provides a per diem based on the distance, and pays hotel bills when employees stay overnight while on the job.

The only employees who drive city vehicles – other than emergency and utilities workers – are new City Manager Michael Graese and City Engineer Ryan Eastwood. Gas reimbursement for all other employees is about 53 cents per mile.

The total amount budgeted for travel and training for all departments this fiscal year is $127,479. The city budgeted $127,022 last year.

Cities with populations similar to Ashland’s handle their travel and training funding differently. The funding is often based on the city’s revenue stream and geography.

Ashland’s travel and training budget is less than the Ccty of Paducah’s, which has about 4,000 more residents than Ashland. Paducah receives more annual revenue than Ashland and has a general fund budget of about $23 million and Paducah has about $33 million.

Paducah budgeted $377,000 this fiscal year for travel and training and spent $250,000 on travel and training last fiscal year, according to the city’s public information officer.

The distance from Paducah to Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville – where most trainings and seminars for city government employees are held – is significantly more than from Ashland. Therefore the city pays more in gas mileage…

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