Does Toledo have another $9 million to spend on roads?

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TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - Toledo's capital improvement fund is $50 million dollars.

After you spend money on potholes and streets and paying back loans, you have $9 million left and the city auditor says that can be spent on roads.

The finance department says that money is dedicated for other work not related to roads. It's a huge difference of opinion.

Council president Steve Steel says, "We can't rely on opinion. We can't be about opinion. It's about, is there money to expend or not money to expend."

The council president leans toward the city auditor, believing there is money to spend.

The auditor is legally charged with independently reviewing the mayor's budget.

The mayor did not talk about this today other than to say any implication the city has more money in an account it's not spending is...

"Reckless." She continued, saying, "We do know what's going on with city finances."

Councilman Larry Sykes agrees, saying this is nothing more than two departments with two different interpretations on how to use the same money.

It is confusing but he's not concerned.

Sykes says, "I'm happy the money is here now. It's been identfied. Let's look at how we can spend it, if we can spend it."

And Sykes believes this is an opportunity for the auditor and administration to agree to one set of accounting standards.

Or the problem could just be lack of community between the two sides.

When 13abc reporter Bill Hormann asked councilman Rob Ludeman "If there are extra dollars, how come we didn't know that?" Ludeman replied, "Oh, I agree and why wasn't council made aware."

But Ludeman insists the finance department is correct and there are no extra road dollars.

Which leaves the questions for the council president. "Why is there discrepancy and how can we resolve it," asks Steel.

The city says it will present it's side of the issue after it submits it's books to the state auditor at the end of the month.

Tuesday, council president Steel, council finance committee chairman Sykes, city finance director George Sarantou and the city auditor will meet to discuss the matter.

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