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More money, more questions

Spa City’s swelled fund balance means leaders must spend some of rainy day fund

— Mayor Scott Johnson has a couple of ideas of where he’d like to have the money go.

“I’d like to see the bulk of the fund put in to the tax stabilization reserve that was established with VLT (Video Lottery Terminal) money,” he said. The VLT was reinstated in mid 2011 with $1.5 million to the city.

Johnson feels that putting the money into future retirement is “not consistent” with city policies and he would like to see the rest of the fund be put toward capital projects.

“I’d rather see it put to capital projects like the new parking garage that are known for this year and are a one-time cost. This would reduce the overall tax burden by lessening the amount the city would bond for that project,” he said.

Johnson also said the city should be credited with coming out with a surplus, especially while “making tough decisions in a bad economy”.

Madigan is looking at all of the priorities in conjunction with members of the Public Safety and Public Works departments. As of Friday, April 27, she expected to approach City Council members individually to get an idea of what each department is in need of. She anticipates addressing the council as a whole later this month at a regularly scheduled council meeting to present her spending recommendations.

Police Chief Christopher Cole was not available for comment.

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