Public Facilities Committee Approves Continued Water District Funding

MAYVILLE — Public Facilities Committee members approved a resolution to continue interim funding for the North County Water District on Monday afternoon.

The funding was originally allocated in 2016 until bonding comes through for the district, but the interim funding would extend once more if approved by the full legislature next week. The district contains the towns of Dunkirk, Pomfret, Portland and Sheridan as well as the Village of Brocton.

Steve Abdella, county attorney, said in the preliminary stage of the project — before revenues start coming in and the district is operational — there remains the question of “How do you have the cash flow to front the expenses prior to permanent borrowing?”

“The choices are either the county, from its own reserves, fronts these costs or the county would enter in to bond anticipation notes,” Abdella said. “I think it’s something that can be reviewed on a regular basis.”

The original resolution allowed the county executive to advanced up to $1 million which would need to be repaid to the county by Dec. 31, 2018. The funding would be increased to up to $3 million which could be provided at an “as-needed basis” and would be extended until Dec. 31, 2019, if approved by the legislature. The interest rate to be paid would be determined by the director of finance at a rate that would be equivalent to the county’s lost investment earning rate during the time the funding was given.

The legislature previously authorized bonding in the amount of $11,750,000 for the cost of the capital improvements for the district.

Abdella said, at the present time, having the county front the funds appears to be the way to go.

“At least for the time being, we felt it saves closing costs and other costs involved with the bond anticipation notes,” he said. “The county can advance the funds, albeit with the district being charged the cost of the county’s loss of the investment earnings.”

He said the extension could still be reviewed on a continuing basis as time goes on. But, extending the interim funding would push the date out until 2019.

“The idea is to have the county be the bank, if you will,” Abdella said.

The resolution will go before the full legislature next Wednesday.