NCLM Southern City, Volume 73, Issue 4 2023

ARP Case Study Town of Pikeville Successfully Pilots the Municipal Accounting Services Program ISABELLA MORMANDO Communications Associate THE TOWN OF PIKEVILLE WAS CELEBRATED BY THE LEAGUE FOR BEING ONE OF THE FIRST PILOT TOWNS TO IMPLEMENT THE LEAGUE’S MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTING SERVICES (MAS) PROGRAM. WITH ARP FUNDING, THE MAS PROGRAM CONTINUES TO SUPPORT THE TOWN OF PIKEVILLE TO OVERCOME OBSTACLES AND PROVIDES ASSISTANCE TO TOWN EMPLOYEES FREE OF CHARGE UNTIL 2026. The Town of Pikeville sits quietly among rich farmland on the north-central coastal plain of North Carolina. The town occupies a half-square mile where 700 people call home. In the years following the pandemic, the town was having trouble managing its finances. The Local Government Commission (LGC) assumed control of Pikeville’s finances in 2021. “There was no question that we didn’t know what we were doing. Coming in as a new mayor I was awfully happy to learn from them,” said Pikeville Mayor Garrett Johnston. “We totally submitted ourselves to their program and what they had to offer.” Eric Faust from the Department of State Treasurer was the LGC-appointed Finance Officer for the town. After working under the guidance of Eric and Deputy Finance Officer Michael Milam, Pikeville regained control of its finances in December 2022. Faust worked with the League during the development of the Municipal Accounting Services (MAS) program and provided advice for the League’s MAS Program. The MAS program helps small towns in North Carolina convert their financial and accounting processes to Black Mountain Software. Through the software, cities can manage payroll, utility billing, taxes, and other common municipal needs. The League provides expert point-of-contacts on our staff for these transitioning towns to ask questions and work through problems as they arise. After working with the Town of Pikeville, Faust suggested that Pikeville would be a promising first candidate to transition its financial system through the League’s MAS program. Wendy Holland, Town Clerk and Finance Officer of Pikeville, praises NCLM staff for their willingness and ability to help the town through their conversion process. NCLM Accounting Specialist Tracy Chestnutt has worked closely with Holland throughout the conversion process and will remain a consultant with the Town of Pikeville until the end of 2026. “Tracy has been very helpful in not only the software but the financials and other unanswered questions. She’s just so knowledgeable,” Holland said. Holland has worked for the Town of Pikeville for two years and has over 28 years of accounting experience but admits that joining the world of municipal governing is a learning journey. It’s not just about us, it’s about small towns in North Carolina having a more efficient program and being able to run things with better accountability. » Garrett Johnston, Mayor, Pikeville SOUTHERN CITY Quarter 4 2023 32