Archive for Thursday, October 11, 2007

Council approves resolution switch for bond money

October 11, 2007

Baldwin City Council members took care of a technical problem with bonds to fund a culvert replacement project during a special meeting Monday afternoon.

The council had approved an ordinance in August that provided for $465,000 worth of bonds to fund the replacement of seven culverts in the city. However, that ordinance wasn't published in the Signal and couldn't be published until today, a day after the closing date for the bond issue.

Bond counsel Kevin Cowan, an attorney with Gilmore and Bell that is associated with Piper Jaffray, was at the special meeting and explained that because of the Wednesday closing date, the council could pass the culvert funding by resolution instead of ordinance and then it wouldn't have to be published.

"It's become necessary to authorize it by resolution rather than ordinance," said Cowan. "We also want to repeal the original ordinance. Until we do that, we'll have a belt and suspenders for a short time."

Council Member Tony Brown asked for clarification. He wanted to know when the ordinance was passed and was told Aug. 20.

"The project has been approved?" said Brown.

There were several other projects with ordinances at the same time, too, including refinancing the Women's Bridge project and the purchase of the Baldwin City Municipal Golf Course. Those ordinances were published.

"The problem was, this was the only ordinance I didn't send in," said City Clerk Darcy Higgins.

Cowan explained that the problem with the ordinance was it contained a refinancing component with the closing date of Wednesday, a day before it could be published. With the resolution replacing the ordinance, that's not necessary.

"I want the public to know what's going on," said Brown. "I don't want to slide everything through by charter resolution. It looks like we're sliding things by."

He was also told that not publishing the ordinance was cheaper. He didn't think that should be an issue saying it's more important that taxpayers know what the council is spending money on.

"I think it's money well spent," said Brown.

Both the resolution and repeal of the ordinance were passed 4-0. Council Member Ken Wagner wasn't at the meeting.

The next scheduled meeting of the council is Monday when it is expected to take action on second reading of an ordinance to regulate burning leaves.

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