Butterfield City Council met Monday, Dec. 10 and received some good news from Shannon Sweeney, an associate at David Drown Associates.
After consulting with a local lending institution, Butterfield’s EDA bonds will be refinanced at a fixed rate of three percent, resulting in a total net savings of $61,858.
“It is a better result than we had expected,” said Sweeney.
The overall term of the bond will remain the same, however, the interest rate is significantly lower than before. The first payment in this new deal is scheduled for August, 2013.
The resolution to refinance the bond required the Butterfield City Council to approve the sale of the bonds and the EDA to provide for the issuance – since the original agreement involved both parties. Making the procedure less complicated was the fact that the Butterfield EDA and City Council are the same entity. Both resolutions passed unanimously.
“It isn’t too often that things go that way,” said Butterfield Mayor Larry Simenson.
The savings from the EDA bond came just in time for the city of Butterfield, having just announced a 17 percent levy increase in the 2013 budget.
Local government aid in Butterfield is about 60 percent of the budget.
Expenses include the fire and emergency response departments, road maintenence and utility work. Butterfield City Council believes these are expenses that cannot be ignored or cut and on top of a lot of necessary improvements and equipment upgrades the city finds itself in a bit of a deficit.
“There’s only one option for a town like ours – local levy has to cover that cost,” said Council Member Ken Pankratz.
Once a local levy is set it cannot be raised to meet financial needs, but can be lowered if the council feels that is the correct path for the city.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done and I don’t think we can compromise that number,” said Council Member Wynette Haler.
Butterfield City Council finalized the tax levy payable 2013 unanimously.
Representatives of the Butterfield Fire Department expressed concerns over the LG555 donations given to the city of Butterfield with the intention that they would be invested in the fire department.
Leslie Heffele, city clerk for Butterfield, presented the donated checks to city council for approval. Checks earmarked to the Butterfield Fire Department totalled $2,850 and were approved to be added to the fire department savings account. The checks that were not distinguished went to other things that the city needed. In order for the confusion to be avoided involving donated funds, Butterfield reminded the fire department to come to the city council meeting before requesting donations and to fill out the proper paperwork – with the check earmarked for the Butterfield Fire Department.
Page 2 of 2 - Council members also approved the purchase of extraction tools by the fire department. Most of the money needed to purchase the equipment was donated – only about $10,000 will need to be taken out of the fire department equipment fund.
Butterfield City Council tabled a resolution to purchase the Wollschlager property in Butterfield until they can determine whether or not the property adjacent will also be up for sale.
The council also moved to open up offers in bid form for the city sanitation contract.
“It worked for us last time,” said Pankratz. “Go with the format from three years ago. It saved us money then and got a real good rate.”
Council will act on the received bids at the Jan. 13 meeting.
Also starting Jan. 13, meetings will be moved to the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. This decision was reached unanimously.
With Heffele going on maternity leave Jan. 21, Butterfield City Council moved to make Council Member Haler the part time city clerk at $15 per hour and $10 per hour while training.
This decision was reached by a majority vote – while Pankratz, the newly elected mayor, and Haler both withheld their votes.
Haler will be the interim clerk of Butterfield for seven weeks starting Jan. 21.