Off Beat: Money gap at Gauche Aquatic Park?
Those "state of" stories have provided an important overview about Yuba-Sutter.
But sometimes, they raise more questions than they answer.
Take the Feb. 11 pieces about Yuba City in which Mayor John Buckland said: "The debt on Gauche Aquatic Park must be paid directly by the taxpayers of Yuba City.
"This is a negative impact of about $900 a day until the bond debt is repaid. Repayment of the bond debt will come directly from the general fund."
Only $900 a day? Gee, that's not much.
Oh, but wait a second. In 2006, the city issued $12.5 million of certificates of participation bearing interest between 3.50 percent and 4.5 percent and payable semi-annually on Dec. 1 and June 1, maturing on June 1, 2036. The outstanding principal as of last June was $11.2 million.
What happened? Well, if you read the city's most recent comprehensive annual financial report, you would have learned that $900 a day was a bit smallish in the big picture.
That document says: "The largest potential impact to the city for the foreseeable future is the state's denial of the Gauche Park certificates of participation debt as a valid redevelopment enforceable obligation."
So the death of redevelopment is coming back to haunt Yuba City. How much is at stake?
"The annual principal and interest payments on this debt have been paid one-half by developer impact fees and one-half by redevelopment funds since 2006," says the report. "If the city is unable to convince the state that this is a valid obligation of the (Redevelopment Agency), the general fund would have to take on repayment of one-half of this debt obligation."
That's $365,000 annually out of the general fund, the report says. And over the remaining life of the debt obligation, it's $3.5 million in interest and $5.6 million in principal, or $9.1 million.
Yuba City is "exploring all options available for obtaining authorization and approval to continue using redevelopment funds for this debt repayment," the document says.
One other item: The recent report from the city's audit firm noted that Yuba City lacked any formal policy for employees to report fraud.
"If employees are not aware of their options to report suspected fraud, there is a less likely chance of the employees actually reporting their suspicions, which could cause fraud to occur and go undetected," the audit report notes.
The city agreed to implement a fraud reporting policy.