Anna council talks bonds, taxes

ANNA– The Anna Village Council met Tuesday night to discuss a possible income tax increase and a bond agreement with Wilson Memorial Hospital.

At a village council meeting last month Attorney Stan Evans presented a proposal to help Wilson Memorial Hospital finance a project they are working on to expand their hospital. They need help from someone to assist in the issuance of bonds.

This was discussed again at the meeting on Tuesday and moved through first reading, although for it to pass, it is necessary for the rules to be suspended and it pass on an emergency basis at the June 23 village council meeting. Evans said the interest rates would go up on June 30, so they can not wait for three readings.

The general consensus of the council was to go through with this. The village did this in 1998 for Wilson Memorial Hospital when Shelby County was unable to help because they were already working on a project and in 2012 they assisted Blanchard Valley Regional Health Center in Bluffton.

Evans said they would receive about $10,000 for assisting with the project, it costs them nothing and there is no liability. The lease obligation is not a debt of the village and does not obligate the village in any way. It will not show up on the village’s financial statement either. The sole collateral for these bonds are the gross revenue of the hospital.

They would be acting as a conduit, or a pass-through entity, in the issuance of these bonds. The process is comprised of a series of lease transactions between US Bank, Wilson Memorial Hospital and the village of Anna. The hospital can not issue these bonds themselves and just need a public entity to issue them, Evans said.

The council talked again about the proposed income tax increase to put on the ballot.

They are seeking to change the allocation and use of the income tax in the amount of .75 percent over and above the 1 percent tax on income which is currently used solely for the fire department. The allocation and use would be changed to be used for safety services which would consist of the fire and police departments.

They are also seeking to levy an additional .25 percent over and above the 1.75 percent currently being levied and collected. The additional tax would also be used for safety services which would consist of the village fire and police departments.

The council was informed they can not put both questions on the ballot together for a vote. They would have to put them separately and they worry this would cause confusion. So the council started to agree that maybe just doing the .25 percent increase for police would be best because community members would be more likely to pass it.

In other business:

• The Young Street project was not passed again on an emergency and sent back to first reading. There was some dispute on the interest rate and cost to residents.

• Police Chief Scott Evans brought up his plans to purchase a new records management system again. He has presented a lower quote to the safety services committee. The cost decrease is because of not having to purchase their own server. They will be sharing the Botkins server if the council grants the money for this new system. It will be discussed more at the next safety services committee meeting next month.

• The village recognized the owners of Track Side Treats for serving and benefiting the community.

• The council also addressed some drug money they had confiscated. A fund will be set up under the police department with a specific plan of how to allocate the money. More will be discussed on this as a specific plan is drafted.