JENNINGS, Mo. – A decision by the City of Jennings to hire a security guard to watch an abandoned city-owned building is coming under fire from some citizens and council members.

Councilman Gary Johnson is pushing for a state audit and says this is one more example of questionable spending.

“We are paying a security company to secure this abandoned, fire-damaged building, basically a waste of money,” Johnson said. “The city got the security guard after the building caught fire. A guard sits outside the building from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. to watch the building, and we have paid that security company over $125,000 since April 13.”

He claims that one major flaw in this deal is that the security arrives overnight.

“If you want to get in, you can just come during the day,” Johnson said.

FOX 2 reached out to Jennings Mayor Yolanda Austin, but we haven’t yet received a response.

Johnson said he got a picture of the guard in his vehicle. He was across the street at a gas station. Johnson reported that to the Jennings Public Safety Department.

Johnson said there was no good reason for the city to buy the building in the first place.

“They paid a nominal fee for it. That is the million-dollar question, when this building was purchased by the city there was no plans for redevelopment, no plans for any kind of stabilization,” he said. “It just sat vacant for a very long time. Now Jennings appears stuck with an expense that could have been avoided.”