Village of Ballston Spa

Village of Ballston Spa borrows $600k to make ends meet

BALLSTON SPA – Bills are due now, but the money isn’t coming due to the Village until Spring.

On Monday night, Village Mayor John Romano and the board of trustees approved a motion to obtain a Revenue Anticipation Note (RAN) from Ballston Spa National Bank to keep payments timely between now and approximately April or May.  The note will be for $600k at an interest rate of 1.95%.

A RAN is a municipal bond repaid with expected revenues such as sales or fees collected.

In a detailed presentation, the mayor outlined several areas in which costs have increased, unexpected expenses related to infrastructure have occurred and the timing have and amounts of revenues have remained the same.

The mayor did reinforce the impact of unfunded state mandates to board members several times during his message. He also referenced the current number of non-taxable properties in the Village as 15-1/2%.

“Currently, the Village has 11 outstanding bond issues associated with capital infrastructure and equipment totalling $253, 771 and as we pay each year, it goes down, however, but we’ve also had to bond new ones,” said Romano.

“That’s a big burden we have to deal with,” he added.

The RAN is expected to be paid back with three main sources of income: a portion of sales tax revenues from Saratoga County, resident water payments due and from the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) available through the state for local governments as a reimbursement for highway-related capital projects.

Mayor Romano noted a reduction of about $20k from the state CHIPS program previously received due to extreme weather conditions.

The board appeared to be in full agreement about discussion and ideas for new revenue sources, including a review of current property tax and water rates being paid, possibly selling water to other municipalities and looking carefully at property taxes.

Trustee Noah Shaw said he was “glad there is awareness” but the current financial status of the Village was “not a sustainable trajectory”.

“While the expenses are unanticipated, they are not unforseeable and need to be accounted for in budget planning,” said Shaw. “We don’t have any cushion.”

The resolution detailing the RAN is expected to be posted on the Village website at a later date.

SEE the other items on the agenda here: https://www.villageofballstonspa.org/images/Agenda_01-22-2018.pdf

LISTEN to the detailed accounting of revenues and expenses from Mayor Romano here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wpJZ7OtTZzwvDcQzbqhHs1RAKskMJ9Vx/view?usp=sharing

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