CLINTON — The town is appealing a fine of about $13,000 for not timely paying federal payroll withholding taxes in the last quarter of 2018, the town's accountant told the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday.

Accountant Tim Butler said the IRS denied the town's appeal of the fine for not timely paying about $38,000 in income tax withholding assessments, Social Security and other federal payroll deductions. The Social Security Administration agreed to waive about $12,000 in fines for the same period, and Butler said he has drafted a compromise to the IRS to remit $1,500 per month until the fine is paid.

The IRS has not yet accepted the compromise, he said.

On another matter, Butler said the town has to set up a bank account for meter deposits and fund it gradually until it has accumulated $16,000. The town has not maintained a meter deposit account over the years, but the town's auditor wants it set up.

The town is considering a merger with the East Feliciana Rural Water System in order to comply with state public health regulations. If the merger goes through, the town will have to pay the rural water system the $16,000, Butler said.

Mayor Lori Ann Bell said a public hearing on the proposed merger is set for 5 p.m. Sept. 30, followed by a special 6 p.m. meeting of the aldermen to possibly vote on the issue.

The annual audit, which was due by June 30, appears to be nearing completion, Butler said. Last year's audit uncovered questionable spending in several areas.

"I believe she (the auditor) is ready to write the report," Butler said, and Bell said she has a meeting with the auditor on Sept. 30.

Butler said the delay in producing the audit stems, in part, from changing several town departments from an accrual system of accounting, instead of a cash basis that accounting professionals do not favor.

Alderman Mark Kemp questioned why board members have not been getting regular reports on Police Department activities, leading to a lengthy discussion of what Kemp said is the board's need for more information on activities that result in financial transactions, such as traffic citations.