The $84,000 question facing the Woodruff Town Board on Tuesday was answered with a suggestion from town supervisor Barry Seidel, Jr.
At a special town board meeting May 30, Lakeland Landscaping was one of four businesses vying for an opportunity to construct the town's new salt shed and came in with the low bid at $103,550.
The town had $20,000 stocked away for the shed so the only thing needing to be done was determine financing for the balance.
At Tuesday's meeting, the town board heard from treasurer Evelyn Schneiderman, who had different options from River Valley Bank and Huntington Bank.
After she finished, there was a pause and Seidel said the town board should also consider, on the advice of Jocelyn Seeliger of the accounting firm Peterson-Metz, using money from the town's fund balance.
"If we were to take roughly $80,000 out of our current fund balance ... after committing the money we already have to spend (the $20,000), it would still leave us with a fund balance of 22 percent of our annual expenses, which is considered to be a healthy fund balance," he said.
Seidel said it made sense to him to take the money from the fund balance and use it for the salt shed.
He said he asked Seeliger about that possibility.
"For people who are worried about exposing the town in terms of liability and taking that $80,000 out of the fund balance, we can actually budget to pay that back out of the existing levy," he said. "If we borrow the money, it can either come out of the existing levy or added to the levy, depending on the budgeting process. So long as it's done in less than 10 years."
Seidel reiterated using the fund balance instead of taking out a loan was what he felt the town board should consider.
He said it wouldn't cost the town anything in financing, as a loan would, and there would be some risk.
"We're going from a rated fund balance of 25 percent and dropping it to 23 percent," Seidel said.
"There would still be money left if the Oshkosh (truck) blows an engine," supervisor Corky Sheppard said. "If we get 10 more of these huge storms that come through with all the overtime."
Seidel eventually made a motion to draft a budget resolution to transfer $84,000 from the town's fund balance, which was seconded by Sheppard and passed unanimously.
Town chairman Mike Timmons said the budget resolution's paperwork with all the proper numbers would have to come back to town board for final approval.
"If we can do that by the next meeting, great," Seidel said.
Lakeland Landscaping has until Nov. 1 to complete the project.
Brian Jopek may be reached via email at email@example.com.