He said despite rate increases in the past two years designed to help pay for the Combined Sewer Overflow project, the utility’s cash balance had steadily dropped. In November, it was at only $400,000. Wellman said he met with a representative of London Witte, the accountant group that had conducted a study related to financing the CSO project.
“Some assumptions made in the 2011 study proved to be erroneous,” Wellman said. “That is the reason the cash balances have gone down.”
He said they began to look for ways to deal with the issue without having to increase rates again. Excess funds were found from two bonds issued for the CSO project, he said. According to state statute, those excess funds can only be used for capital expenses of a similar nature to what the bond was originally issued for, or for making principal and interest payments.
By using the approximate $1.2 million to pay principal and interest, Wellman said it will relieve pressure on the operating fund. In addition, statute allows the city to reimburse the operating fund for those payments retroactive to 18 months.
“We’re required to do a rate study every two years anyway,” Wellman said. “This will get us to that point.”
Clerk/Treasurer Karen Brown certified that the surplus funds were not anticipated, and city attorney Tim Dant read a resolution that addresses the excess funds from the outstanding bond issues.
Two ordinances were introduced at the meeting, and rules were suspended to have the second reading at the meeting so action can be taken immediately. The first ordinance moves the code enforcement officer’s position from the Police Department to the Office of the Building Commissioner. The second ordinance amends the salary ordinance related to that position.
The council approved a plan by Judy Clements to develop a cul de sac and plat three lots on 3 acres she owns at 21st Street and E. National Highway. The plan already had been approved by planning and zoning boards