Village of South Jax in good financial standing

By Benjamin Cox on October 5, 2018 at 10:16am

The Village of South Jacksonville is in debt for the first time in a while, but for the right reasons.

During the regular Monthly Village Board of Trustees meeting held last night, an audit of the village’s 2017-2018 budget was presented.

Suzanne Surratt: of Zumbahlen, Eyth, Surratt, Foote, and Flynn; was the audit presenter. She mentioned that the village was incurring debt for the first time in a number of years after a $900,000 loan was secured by the village to cover part of the South School and Dewey Drive renovations that were performed over the summer. Village Trustee and Finance Committee Dick Samples explains what the village will do, and why this is not a harmful debt for the village to have.

“We had not incurred any debt whatsoever – long-term, substantial debt – for quite a number of years. Let’s say designated representatives of the village secured a loan for approximately $900,000; and that we could reasonably find, I believe, a 10-year solution to pay off this loan. This would be paid off from the money that we derive from our tax increment financing allotments (TIF) and would still protect the money that we have in TIF. Over the course of 10 years, the village can presumably prepare to use expected income to pay off the loan.”

Another announcement during the audit presentation was the fact that the village had decreased their cash expenditures by approximately 20 percent, down 600,000 dollars to 2.5 million in Fiscal Year 2018. Samples says the fund is not always less than the year before.

“The needs of the village change with every fiscal year. There was a fire truck purchase, I don’t remember how many years ago, but that caused a heavy, yet momentary influx of expenditure. I’m not worried about it at the present moment. If there were any problems, the accountants would have blatantly addressed their concerns, but they pretty much gave us a clean bill of health.”

Additionally, during the meeting the Village section of the route for the Veteran’s Day Parade the morning of November 10th from 10-11 was secured for closure. Samples describes the whole path of the parade and the next steps.

“I believe the route starts on Dewey Drive and continues through South Main traveling north and continues to Community Park. So we’ve secured closure in terms of the trustees saying it needs to be done, and now the city of Jacksonville will act to close the remainder of the route.”

The next Board of Trustees meeting has been scheduled for October 25 at 6:30 p.m. and will be a committee of the whole session.