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Front Page December 19, 2017  RSS feed

Buffalo council discusses funding options for new city hall

By Mac Shadix

Bobby Fishbeck Bobby Fishbeck The full Buffalo City Council assembled for a special called meeting at the Buffalo Senior Center on December 18, 2017 at six pm. During the meeting an agenda item that had originally been listed for a closed session was instead discussed in the public forum due to questions about it’s eligibility for a Closed Session. The original item called for the mayor to “announce the Council will go into closed session, pursuant to VTAC, Section 551.071 concerning Financing Structure of new City Administration/Convention/ Tourism building.”

City Attorney Jerry Nowlin opened the discussion of the funding issue by telling the council what it already knew. The City lacks funds to pay for the construction of the new structure outright and approximately one half million dollars must be financed.

Nowlin told the council that it was too small an amount to seek a bond issue for, and that a “tax note” was most likely the best way to proceed. Such a note, he said would cost about twenty five thousand for a consultant and would have to be approved by the Attorney General, but would most likely be the least expensive option for that small a note for a short period of time. The estimated time was about seven years.

Mike Glick, the only private citizen to regularly attend council meetings objected to the city paying that amount to someone to be able to borrow money. He urged the mayor to approach the two local banks and seek a low interest rate. Glick also asked how much the building was going to cost. He was told that the approved amount was One million five hundred and sixty one thousand nine hundred and fifty dollars plus an eighty six thousand dollar payment to the architect/engineer.

No action was taken on the issue but another special section was set for January 8, 2018 at six pm to continue the discussion and to make a decision.

Bobby Fishbeck appeared before the council to request that the council approve another six thousand dollars of Hotel-Motel tax funds for the Boys High School Basketball Tournament. The tournament organizers had originally requested sixteen thousand from the council and had been awarded ten thousand by the committee that reviews the requests. Mayor Dawkins offered a compromise at three thousand dollars but the council led by Martin Housler and Dianne Ryder appropriated the full amount.

The council approved the final reports on the use of Hotel/Motel Tax funds this year for the Buffalo Stampede and the Bison Belle 60th Reunion and the horseshoe tournament.

Buffalo Fire Chief Shaine Reeder and Robbie Boettcher brought several informative posters dealing with the planning group to show to the council.

Lance Pavelka, Buffalo Police Chief, told the council that there was still an ongoing threat from credit and debit card skimmers in Buffalo. He repeated that a person recently charged with harboring a fugitive had been jailed and that the department was giving a lot of attention to speeders in the school zones, and in the construction area on the interstate.

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