City to borrow from utility

The first ordinance passed this year by the Seymour City Council has become standard procedure.

The seven-member council voted to allow Clerk-Treasurer Fred Lewis to use up to $5 million from the Seymour Municipal Sanitation Utility to help cover general fund expenses until June.

The city will receive the first of two annual distributions of property tax revenues in June. The other comes in December.

The loan from the utility fund is temporary, and the clerk-treasurer is authorized to draw down money as needed to help the city pay bills.

Council member Lloyd Hudson said the ordinance is voted on early each year.

“We set up an amount that we will not borrow against the sanitary utility any more than $5 million,” Hudson said. “That’s over the whole year that we would not go above that, and we’ve not exceeded that throughout the previous years. It’s just enough there that this ordinance lets us be able to borrow from time to time.”

The sanitary utility, which collects user fees from residential and business rate payers, funds repairs and maintenance to the city’s sanitary and storm sewer collection system.

Any money borrowed from the sanitary utility has to be paid back by the end of the year, city attorney Rodney Farrow said. Those are no-interest loans since they are coming from another city department.

“When we borrow, we pay back when we get tax revenue by the end of 2016,” Hudson said.

City officials have borrowed from the sanitary utility several times over the years. So far, borrowing money hasn’t caused any problems.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.