Aragon Coun­cil OKs new emer­gency sav­ings plan

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Sean Wil­liams swilliams1­[email protected]­hoo.com

Aragon’s city coun­cil is think­ing ahead and hop­ing to avoid fu­ture fi­nan­cial prob­lems by cre­at­ing a new emer­gency sav­ings ac­count.

While the plan saw ap­proval dur­ing the group’s De­cem­ber 20 meet­ing, large por­tions of money won’t be de­posited right away.

In­stead, the group plans to al­lo­cate 5 per­cent of the city’s monthly gross in­come to the ac­count un­til it reaches a cap of $100,000.

“I want to open up a new ac­count for emer­gency pur­poses only,” coun­cil mem­ber Judd Fee said. “We can re­view it pe­ri­od­i­cally, but the rea­son (I want) to do this is be­cause we have no safety net in place. We’ve got a bunch of good peo­ple work­ing here, and they need some kind of guar­an­tee that they’re gonna have money to go on ev­ery month.”

Cen­tury Bank was ap­proved as the car­rier, and the .70 per­cent in­ter­est the coun­cil plans to re­ceive has been pledged to Aragon’s bud­get. The ap­proved bids of a garbage truck, nu­mer­ous garbage con­tain­ers, and a sin­gle axle trailer means the coun­cil should have ap­prox­i­mately $15,500 to serve as a safety net un­til the 5 per­cent can be ap­plied monthly.

Ac­cord­ing to Fee, the city would be de­posit­ing $2,000 to $2,500 each month based on their cur­rent monthly gross, but that num­ber won’t be in ef­fect un­til the coun­cil works on their up­com­ing bud­get.

“If we had $50,000 in that ac­count at the end of the year, that ac­count would make $250,” Judd said. “now we could take that and do what­ever. We could put it in spe­cial as­sets or gen­eral funds- what­ever.”

One pit­fall dis­cussed about the idea comes in the form of fu­ture coun­cil lim­i­ta­tions. Spend­ing rules could be ap­plied for the cur­rent coun­cil and mayor.

Reg­u­la­tions put in place now are not set in stone for fu­ture mem­bers who could choose to undo the ac­count or spend it in their own- so long as or­di­nances gov­ern­ing spend­ing lim­its were amended again.

Coun­cil mem­bers voted ear­lier this year to im­pose spend­ing lim­its on depart­ment heads and Bald­win to pre­vent a fur­ther bleed of cash from the city’s cof­fers.

Fee and Mayor Garry Bald­win de­cided fu­ture coun­cils wouldn’t pose a threat and de­cided to move for­ward with the ac­count.

De­tails are still be­ing de­cided, but Aragon should con­tinue to pro­vide up­dates as they iron out the de­tails.

/ Sean Wil­liams

The Aragon City Coun­cil dis­cussed the need to set back funds dur­ing their De­cem­ber 2018 work ses­sion ahead of the meet­ing on Thurs­day, Dec. 20.

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