Wednesday, March 19, 2014 | NEWS
One final loan?
Luck Village Board moves cash to golf course; Resolution goes against auditor's advice
Greg Marsten | Staff writer
LUCK – The Luck Village Board held a special meeting on Friday, March 14, where they addressed several issues, but most notably moved $20,000 from the village coffers to the Luck Municipal Golf Course, to assist in operating capital, basically to cover utility and basic bills and hopefully allow them to get back on track for a spring opening.
The resolution came on the heels of a move minutes earlier where the board of trustees passed a unanimous resolution adjusting their formal policy of maintaining a certain percentage of fund balance. Their previous policy was one that is commonly adhered to by municipalities, to maintain at least a 30-percent fund balance. The new policy dropped that minimum allowed fund balance down to a 25-percent minimum.
"We did fall below our 30-percent level," village President Peter Demydowich stated. "So we decided to move it down to 25 percent."
The two resolutions are meant to go hand-in-hand, as the later action to move funds to the golf course carries a stipulation that they can give no more money to cover golf course expenses, until the village fund balance rises back above the 30-percent level.
The village is currently at a 27.5-percent fund balance level, and in the golf course resolution, it is noted that the action to move additional funds to the golf course goes against the advice of the village auditor, as the resolution stated that the village " (advancement of funds) ... is in contrary with the given advice of the village auditors, village treasure (sp.) and village staff."
The golf course resolution technically moves $20,000 from the local government investment pool to the Village of Luck general fund account and then to the Luck Municipal Golf Course account, with a stipulation that the money be paid back to the village by Sept. 1.
But it was the resolution caveat about going against auditor advice that raised the most eyebrows with trustees.
"What purpose is it to go in contrary to the auditor advice?" Trustee Ross Anderson asked.
Demydowich said the statement was important to future considerations.
"Just to mention that the auditors, village staff and others told us not to do it," Demydowich said, noting that it in effect means they can no longer lend the operation any more cash, until times are better for the village fund balance.
"I think it's good," Trustee Bob Determan said. "It doesn't slam the door if we get up to that 30-percent level."
The 30- to-25-percent resolution does stress that by changing their current minimum, it does put the village at a "critically low level of funds available for any unforeseen and/or emergency purposes."
There is an out for the golf course, as well, even though they cannot technically borrow the golf course any more funds until the village gets back on a more financially sound level, they can advance further funding if they have at least a two-thirds majority vote by the village board.
The $20,000 advance is hopefully enough to get the golf course back on their feet for an opening, when they can again have a positive cash flow.
"Hopefully, this is enough to help," Demydowich said.
In other board action:
The board approved a measure to close a portion of Butternut Avenue to general traffic for a half hour each school day morning, to address traffic concerns during morning drop-offs.
Under the change, only school buses would be allowed to drive past signs closing the portion of Butternut between Seventh and Eight streets each morning, generally between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.
"We've had so many incidents with parents dropping (students) off on the north side of the building," Luck School District Administrator Rick Palmer told the board. "We just want to try this until the end of the school year."
Luck Police Chief Monty Tretsven supported the move and said he would assist with the logistics of the action for the first week or so, and he said they would start the closures once new signs come in. Those signs will be placed on the street to divert traffic around the school.
Palmer called the current drop-off situation an "accident waiting to happen," and said they would encourage people to do all drop-offs on the west side of the school, which is the middle and high school entrances, but it also works for elementary schoolchildren.
"We can see how it goes, try if for a few months," Tretsven said. "If it's not working, then we can try something else."
The board unanimously approved the resolution allowing the school day closure.
CUTLINE GM Luck village
The Luck Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Friday, March 14, meant to address several issues, including special funding for the Luck Municipal Golf Course. (dsc 0041)
Under a move by the Luck Village Board of Trustees last week, this stretch of Butternut Avenue beside the Luck School will be closed to general traffic each school day morning, with only buses allowed. - Photos by Greg Marsten. (dsc 0046)