St. Lawrence County will borrow $9.5 million to meet operational needs
By JIMMY LAWTON
CANTON – St. Lawrence County will borrow $9.5 million to ensure it has enough cash for operations.
Legislators agreed Monday to issue $9.5 million in revenue anticipation notes as recommended by the finance committee recently.The committee recommended borrowing $10 million in August, but it was tabled by the full Board of Legislators in a split vote after concerns were raised regarding the practice. On Monday, the board agreed to borrow $9.5 million instead.
The practice of borrowing cash to meet basic cash flow needs in the county has been the norm since at least 2011.
The county borrowed $8.5 million in 2011, $12 million in 2012, and $10 million in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The county typically pays around $100,000 in interest each year on the borrowed cash.
One of the major reasons the county runs low on cash is that it relies on reimbursements from the state, which are not paid back in a timely fashion. The county has also struggled with reduced sales tax revenues and increased personnel costs as it also struggles to stay below the state-imposed tax cap.
Earlier this year the county formed a Strategic Planning Committee aimed at growing the fund balance and increasing revenues.
In July, the county approved a plan that aims to grow its depleted fund balance in hopes of getting to a point where it will no longer have to borrow money to meet cash flows needs.