TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Thursday night big decisions were made dealing with Terre Haute's city deficit. According the mayor, the city comes into December with a total debt around two million dollars and with five million dollars to pay back from a tax anticipation loan.
But at Thursday's city council meeting, the mayor and council jousted on the best way to deal with paying off the debt.
According to the mayor the city has a total of seven million dollars he wanted to pay off Thursday night.
Mayor Duke Bennett said that would allow the city to leave 2012 with a surplus around 16 thousand dollars, but no debt yet on the books.
But, the city council feels one of the funds Mayor Bennett wanted to transfer wasn't meant to pay down the city's debt.
Here's how it works:
By moving around 2.1 million dollars from the city's Pilot fund, 3.5 million dollars from the Rainy day fund and 2 million dollars from the city's economic development income tax fund ( or EDIT), the city would meet the seven million dollars it owes in debt and loans.
But for the city council, they weren't comfortable using two million dollars in economic development funds.
Their consensus was that those funds should be used strictly to bring business to Terre Haute, so they voted to table the using the funds for now.
"EDIT funds on the other hand have such an important use in our community, I would just hate for us to lose the opportunity as a community to be able to do something huge with the EDIT money," Councilman John Mullican said.
While the mayor feels that if they don't pay down the debt now it could hurt more in the future.
We've recently found out the assessed values have gone down in Vigo County we don't know the exact impact on the city yet, it's probably something else we have to deal with next year," Mayor Duke Bennett said. "So we are looking at some additional cuts, additional revenues. It'll be an ongoing conversation for years to come
The EDIT money was only tabled so it still can be used to pay down the debt next year. But the city council was very concerned with using funds specifically dedicated to economic development for debt relief.
As it stands right now, the city could enter 2013 with a debt around two million dollars.
The Turkey Run State Parke suspension bridge over Sugar Creek will close Dec. 12 through Dec. 20 for the replacement of a staircase on the north end.
The Indiana Department of Transportation is preparing for the winter storm moving into the Wabash Valley starting Thursday afternoon.
The Vigo County School Corporation has announced that all VCSC buildings will be closed by 6 p.m. Thursday. All athletic events, both home and away, will be canceled and postponed until a later date.
On Tuesday, Mayor Duke Bennett handed out art grants to local organizations across the city of Terre Haute.
A Terre Haute robotics team is competing for a state title with an invention that could save lives.