The Town applied for a 35% Grant and 65% Loan from the USDA for the purchase of a police vehicle. While the application was approved, a resolution that accepts the grant and loan funding, as well as the terms for each of the funding sources, needed to be approved by town council.
According to a staff report, the “first debt payment will not occur until FY 2018, and will be made once a year for five years. The grant amount is $10,100, and the loan amount is $18,800. The interest rate will be a maximum of 3.375%.” Treasurer Deborah Pocock noted that the resolution was the next step to close on the loan for this fiscal year’s budgeted police vehicle.
Discussion centered on a flawed acquisition methodology the town has been employing. Treasurer Pocock expressed concern, and admonished town council to clean up its act.
Councilwoman Joan Natali: This is basically the same thing, the same loan as last year?
Councilman Steve Bennett: Yes, it is the same every year.
Councilman Sambo Brown: Not quite. Because it is a delay. And from the USDA we’re never sure if we’re going to get the funds. Like this year, it took so long that it cost the town $1800 dollars because the vehicle is sitting in Sheehey Ford in Richmond and we can’t pick it up.
Pocock: Well, it should never have been ordered until we had the funds…the last two years have been an eye opener. Usually we request it, we get it. Last year, the Federal Government did not release the funds. The way forward if you do choose to go this route, is don’t order the vehicle until you know the application has been approved.
Brown: It’s hard to get a price on a vehicle, until you order it.
Pocock: But we use the firm contract, so we should know ahead of time.
Council approved the resolution.