Alcona County borrows from tax fund for dam repairs

HARRISVILLE — The Alcona County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday voted to borrow up to $105,000 from its delinquent tax fund to help pay for repairs at Cedar Lake.

For nearly two years, the repair of a failing dam at Cedar Lake has been crawling forward, and a special assessment district has been laid out to tax residents within the district for the funding of the project. However, unpaid bills need to be addressed to keep the project moving.

On Wednesday, the county board passed a resolution to provide the temporary funds to move the project along.

Chairman Craig Johnston read the request from Jesse Campbell, the acting Drain Commissioner.

“The Board of Commissioners for Alcona County received a request to loan until Dec. 1, 2019 not to exceed $105,000 for the district,” Johnston read, “to allow the district to pay preliminary costs in connection with the pending lake improvement project. The loan will be repaid with the proceeds of a bond issue to be issued in 2019 by the district after all the engineering and other work is completed.”

The money will be pulled from the Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund. The resolution states it will not exceed $105,000, but it could be less. Bonds will be sold to fund the work and repay the delinquent tax fund, and taxpayers in the Cedar Lake special assessment district will repay the bond buyers over several years.

Another motion was passed to put county Treasurer Cheryl Franks in charge of the utilization of the funds and their repayment.

“You will be paid back the funds loaned to them …,” Franks told the board, “with interest.”

Going forward, Franks said she will provide the board with the interim borrowing budget.

“We’ll have all our money back through a bond,” Johnston said. “Everybody will be made whole again, including Alcona County, with our DTRF money, and money we have paid engineering and interest and whatever else.”

Cedar Lake also extends into Iosco County and officials mentioned during Wednesday’s meeting that Iosco will also put up $105,000 for the project to be repaid.

Kaitlin Ryan can be reached at kryan@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 989-358-5693.