280.14  TRAVEL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT POLICY.
   (a)   Basic policy.
      (1)   Employees, including City Council, who travel on official City business, will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses. Except for emergencies, travel for employees other than City Council, will be approved in advance by the City Manager.
      (2)   Any member of City Council may attend the annual Pennsylvania League of Cities Convention. Travel by City Council members to any other convention or training for which reimbursement will be sought must first be approved by the full City Council.
      (3)   Employees using personal vehicles when an administrative/department vehicle is available may use their personal vehicle upon the authorization of the appropriate authority. It is strongly recommended to utilize City vehicles if available. Employees will be reimbursed at the mileage rate currently approved by the IRS.
      (4)   Lodging arrangements will be approved in advance by the City Manager.
      (5)   Reimbursable expenses for meals will be limited to actual cost.
      (6)   Tip is not to exceed 15% of meal.
      (7)   Excessive or unnecessary expenses will not be reimbursed.
      (8)   When travel costs and/or registration or other fees have been paid by the City on behalf of the authorized staff, and the authorized staff fails, without good cause to attend the event, said staff shall reimburse the City the amount paid by the City.
      (9)   Questions of good cause shall be determined by the City Manager.
      (10)   Funds may be advanced for travel if requested on the proper form, approved by the employee’s supervisor and the Finance Director.
   (b)   Detailed policy.
      (1)   It is the policy of the City to reimburse employees for the expenses of travel, including the cost of transportation, meals, and lodging, provided such travel is performed in the course of conducting business. Any travel on which reimbursable expenses are expected to be incurred must be approved in advance.
      (2)   Employees who travel by personal vehicle must have the vehicle licensed and insured in accordance with Pennsylvania requirements.
      (3)   Whether the employee operates a personal vehicle on municipal business or uses a municipal vehicle, the employee must possess a valid operator’s license for the vehicle to be operated. Employees are personally responsible for any fines or penalties connected with traffic or parking violations.
      (4)   Reimbursement rates are as follows:
         A.   Mileage.
            1.   Currently approved IRS rate, personal vehicle.
            2.   Reimbursement of gasoline costs paid by employee while using a City vehicle.
            3.   Air transportation: Arrangements will be made by the City in advance, using the most direct, economical carrier.
            4.   Any travel shall be by the most direct and economical method to the location of the City business. If another means is used, reimbursement will not exceed that which would have been made by the most economical method.
         B.   Lodging.
            1.   There will be no overnight travel if the location is within a fifty-mile radius of the City. Under special circumstances involving early or late meetings, or multiple day meetings, lodging expenses for less than this distance may be authorized subject to the City Manager’s pre-approval and before the occurrence happens.
            2.   Allowable lodging expenses are intended to include the basic commercial lodging rate for single occupancy or the “government rate” (whichever is the lowest cost for the City) if available, plus any applicable sales taxes and or hotel/motel taxes. It shall be the responsibility of the authorized staff to request of the lodging vendor a “government rate”, if available, unless a lower rate for the same accommodations is available with the regular rate.
         C.   Meals.
            1.   The cost of meals will be reimbursed at the actual expense.
            2.   Alcohol will not be reimbursed.
            3.   Room service charges will not be reimbursed.
            4.   Receipts for reimbursement of meal costs must be accompanied by detailed receipts.
            5.   The City reserves the right to deny reimbursement for excessive meal costs, per the discretion of the City Manager.
         D.   Tolls and parking. Paid upon submission of receipt - When traveling in a personal vehicle equipped with an E-Z Pass, only those charges incurred for City-related travel will be reimbursed. Employees may use their personal E-Z Pass statement with business travel related tolls clearly identified to substantiate E-Z Pass reimbursement requests.
         E.   Reports.
            1.   A form shall be completed by employees seeking reimbursement for travel expenses and/or to provide an accounting of the expenditure of advanced funds.
            2.   The completed form will be submitted for approval to the employee’s supervisor and the City Finance Director.
            3.   The completed form, with all signatures, will be provided to City Council at their next regularly scheduled meeting for review.
(Ord. 15-19.  Passed 12-18-2019.)