Although Mayor Michael Cinquanti is not specifying an exact amount yet, he said yesterday that the actual amount of deficit financing the city borrows for will be less than the $8.3 million authorized by the New York State Comptroller’s office and legislation passed by the state senate and assembly.
A resolution on the agenda for this Tuesday’s meeting authorizes Controller Matt Agresta to conduct the sale of up to $8.3 million in municipal bonds and allocate the proceeds to the general, transportation, sewer, and golf course funds, all of which have negative fund balances.
“We certainly will not be going out for that much,” said Cinquanti. “It’s what’s authorized by the legislation, so we decided to keep with the wording of the legislation. And we will let you know exactly what that amount is before we actually borrow the money.”
“We’re borrowing it this way because it is the upper limit and we just haven’t finished out negotiations yet with the other parties that could impact that amount,” he explained.
Cinquanti said he has been meeting with Montgomery County officials to resolve the amount of delinquent taxes the city owes to the county. The city’s fund balance was previously lowered by approximately $1 million to hedge against a dispute between the city and the county figures. He expects the negotiations to be complete in about a week, but not in time for Tuesday’s meeting.
He also said that he is reviewing the recently completed audit reports for the 2018-2019 fiscal year and expects those reports will show a smaller deficit than what was certified by the comptroller’s office which was based on the 2017-2018 audit. According to the 2018-2019 annual update document filed with New York State before the audit was complete, the total of all deficits is approximately $7.3 million.
The current financial market conditions were cited as the reason he is asking the city to begin the process now rather than to wait for the exact amount. He said it was possible that the recent plunge in stock prices could lead to interest rates on bonds that are more favorable to the city.