Council boosts credit card limit

Working for the city can really rack up the costs.

The Oak Harbor City Council voted last Tuesday to increase the city finance director’s procurement credit card limit to $10,000.

Eight credit cards are assigned to the city, said Finance Director Doug Merriman, six to individual departments, one to the city purchasing manager and one to his office. The cards are generally used to cover group travel costs and purchases of equipment, materials and supplies.

The credit limit for the cards has historically been set at $2,000. While the department limits are sound, Merriman said projected uses necessitated setting a higher ceiling for the finance director and city purchasing manager. He initially proposed increasing the limit to $5,000 for both offices.

Council member Jim Campbell said he knew from experience that a $2,000 limit would not suffice when factoring in the costs of accommodations and other travel expenses.

“That’s why we bumped it,” Merriman replied.

The council ultimately voted to bump it even more. At least for Merriman’s office. Councilman Paul Brewer pointed out that multiple people using the card could easily exceed $5,000. Instead of the proposed limit, the finance director’s card will now max out at $10,000. The city purchasing manager’s office card will increase to $5,000

Councilwoman Sue Karahalios applauded the increase, noting that credit cards are affording cheaper rates when making reservations.

“It is a financial betterment for the city,” she said.

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