Valley Falls City Council gets lesson in public banking, finance
by Clarke Davis
Kendall State Bank President and CEO Jayne Coleman visited the mayor and city council at their Aug. 17 meeting explaining the procedures and laws when it comes to the deposit of public funds.
Valley Falls has over $900,000 on deposit with the bank with approximately $600,000 in certificates of deposit drawing interest.
Coleman covered the laws, noting that public funds must be deposited in local banks provided the bank pays at least the state rate on interest-bearing acccounts. She covered the bank’s responsibility in securing those deposits in amounts beyond what is covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Because of the historically low interest rates, Coleman said these were not good times for banks or for public municipalities. Cities used to look forward to enhancing their budgets with income from interest ranging from 3 to 6 percent.
Today that rate is less than a third of 1 percent. She did encourage the city to move some CDs from 3 months to at least 1-year if not 2- year investments, thus increasing the rate from almost nothing to 0.29 percent.
The bank president said the nation has been informed that low rates are going to be around for at least two years. The Federal Reserve board, which usually keeps a tight lip, has announced it plans to hold rates low well into 2013, she said.
The council has discussed using some of its idle funds to remodel a new city office on Broadway. That project, expected to cost nearly $100,000, could get under way early next year.
Mayor Charles Stutesman presided with all council members present.
It was reported that the swimming pool will be drained, winterized, and partially refilled. The mayor wanted to know what it would cost to keep the pool open through Labor Day at least on the weekends. Daryl Courter, utilities superintendent, estimated chemicals alone would run $500 a week. The pool closed Aug. 14.
Courter reported there had been an illegal dumping of a razed barn at the brush pile. He said those involved were minors and they did clean it up. He noted that the area was on Corps land outside the city’s jurisdiction and that if law enforcement was to get involved, it would be federal.
Courter reinterated that the burn pile is only for brush, leaves, and tree limbs.
It was also reported that while working at the burn pile the city’s backhoe was damaged when a log smashed into the cab breaking the window and causing $1,100 in damages. The damage is covered by insurance.
Councilwoman Lucy Thomas, representing the Economic Development Committee, announced the EDC’s quarterly business social will be held at Aahh Some Blossom starting at 5:30 p.m Wednesday, Aug. 31.
A committee involving councilmen Todd Harrington and Mike Hahn will meet with Courter soon at the sewer lagoons to review some of the needs there and review suggested plans by the engineering firm.
The council discussed some of the best ways to market a used truck it has for sale. The former state truck has a sand box and snow plow and the city wants $7,000 for it.
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