Debt free city a possibility

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Finance Director Lonnie Clark admitted Monday he had made a mistake when he attached an older amortization schedule to proposed Ord. 2265, and acknowledged citizen Eric Knowles for exposing the error at the April 23 city council meeting. Clark said aldermen now had the intended amortization schedule attached to the ordinance they were considering.

Clark said his long-range plan was to get the city out of bonded indebtedness by 2025. The first step was to pay off the bonds for the police facility, and that has been accomplished. The second part was to pay off the water and sewer bonds within five years, which the ordinance before them would accomplish. The third step in his plan was to pay off all other bonded indebtedness by 2025.

He said as a result of the recalculation for the amortization schedule, the city has more of the Infrastructure Improvement funds to use for infrastructure improvements.

Clark maintained having a plan to get the city free of debt is a major statement. Few cities have such a plan. There will be a significant savings in interest payments after a time, but even more important will be getting out from under the scrutiny of the Security Exchange Commission because of the bonded indebtedness.

Aldermen liked Clark’s revised amortization schedule and approved not only the new amortization schedule, but the third reading of Ord. 2265.