Finances topic of Terre Haute City Council meeting

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Finances were the big talk of Thursday night’s Terre Haute City Council meeting.

Mayor Duke Bennett went before council members Thursday asking them to approve a Tax Anticipation Warrant Loan.

It’s a practice the city’s done for the past five years.

This time around Bennett asked them to approve the city taking out a $4 million loan.

That loan helping to cover bond payments and general operations.

Bennett says it’s a common practice around the state.

“The state, many, many years ago created the opportunity for local government to be able to borrow funds that you’re going to receive in December,” Bennett said. “So we’re basically taking an advance out on our taxes that we’re going to receive, very low interest rate, and then that way you fund the first six months of the year.”

Bennett tells the council the interest on the loan would be anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000.

Despite a trash fee put into place last year, Bennett says the city still needs this loan to operate.

A decision Council President Karrum Nasser says they don’t want to take lightly.

“Any time that we’re able to save the tax payers money by not having to do a loan, and seeing if we can get money from Redevelopment, that’s something that I think we all agree that we needed to do,” Nasser said.

Ultimately the council voted 6 to 2 to table the loan until February meetings.

Despite the tabling, Bennett says he’s not worried yet about the city meeting its financial obligations.

“We’re going to need a little bit additional cash,” Bennett said. “And so if it gets beyond February that’ll be a little bit more of a problem for us. It’s not a show stopper kind of a thing but it’ll definitely put us in a position where we’ll not be able to do a few things.”

Mayor Bennett says in January alone the city has $14 million in expenses.

As Nasser mentioned, the council says they’re going to work with Redevelopment to see how much money can be borrowed from them.