According to the Observer Dispatch article in today's paper:
Residents last year voted down a proposition that sought to replace lighting at the recreation center and for some upgrades. Now, the board has decided to bond for it.Actually, the board didn't decide to bond again...not just yet.
Jeffery said the energy savings will ultimately pay off the one-year bond.They actually approved a B.A.N. - a bond anticipation note to cover some of the items that were turned down last March during the vote on the $5 million bond resolutions. The difference between a B.A.N. and a bond is that the town board does not need taxpayer approval to B.A.N.
The troubling part is that B.A.N.s are renewable a year at a time for up to 5 years; after 5 years, the money either has to be repaid from the budget or bonding will have to be approved to pay back the money. So it is misleading to merely call it a "one-year bond"; the monies won't be paid back in one year unless the town board approves bonding that will be subject to permissive referendum just like the bonding last year where signatures were collected to force a vote of the taxpayers. Again, noted in the Observer Dispatch:
The board did not include the amount in this year's budget, but if it was included, it would have increased the parks and recreation budget by 25 percent, officials said.So, if it would increase the recreation budget by 25 percent this year, it will probably do at least the same next year... so where will the money come to repay the B.A.N.? The town board will either decide to extend the B.A.N. for at least another year or they will once again BOND like they attempted to do last year.
Add to that the fact that this comes on the heels of another B.A.N. that was approved to purchase items that were turned down in the March Bond Vote. If you recall, last May they took out a B.A.N. for the Gradall to replace the Badger that was sold prematurely without board approval. There also were the B.A.N.s from 2005 and 2006 to purchase trucks, snowplows and fund the GEIS study.
Any bonding would be subject to permissive referendum and signatures would need to be collected to bring it to a vote of the residents of New Hartford unless, of course, the town board decides to hold a mandatory referendum. A mandatory referendum would mean that the people get to decide automatically...no signatures need to be collected...that is an option the board has, but will they decide to do that?
In the Tuesday, January 22, 2008 Observer Dispatch, Councilwoman Krupa says:
O-D: Any new ideas for the town?At some point in the very near future, it will be 'time to pay the piper'...hopefully, Councilwoman Krupa is VERY creative!
Krupa: I want to find some creative ways to do the funding and town residents don't have to worry about tax impact. I have not started yet but that's where I am going to go. You will be surprised but there is a lot of funding out there. I have not put the idea to the board yet. Former politicians in my family have been advising me and I will take it from there.
By the way, the video of the January 23, 2008 town board meeting will be online in a day or two.