Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Standard-Examiner: Ogden Transfers $1 Million to Help Construct New Water Treatment Plant

A mere warm-up for the bigger decision  over the upcoming $13 million bond, whereby the interest rate will be higher, the payment period will be 15 times longer, and it won't just  be another city fund making money off the council's mind-boggling ineptitude

Fresh off the City Council's passage of Ogden City's bassackwards new water rates scheme, which effectively penalizes water conservation, and rewards the biggest water users with discounted rates, the Standard-Examiner reports this morning that the city council has taken action to jump-start the process.  Here's the lede:
OGDEN — A month after raising water rates to pay for needed infrastructure improvements, the city is moving around some money to begin one of the improvements early.
On Tuesday night the city council approved a resolution that will allow the city to borrow $1 million from the sewer fund and lend it to the water fund in order to expedite the construction of a new water treatment plant.
Read Mr. Shaw's full writeup here:
Regarding the whole concept of transferring a cool mil to the water fund, which is already flush with cash, Gentle Reader Dan S. hits the nail on the head, we believe:
Mr. Moffett is incorrect. The loan is not necessary because the water fund has a $6 million cash balance that it could easily tap into for the design work. But bureaucrats always prefer to do things the most complicated possible way, it seems.
Hold onto your wallets, Ogden City lumpencitizens.  Consider this a mere warm-up for the bigger decision  over the council's upcoming $13 million bond, whereby the interest rate will be higher, the payment period will be 15 times longer, and it won't just  be another city fund making money off the council's mind-boggling ineptitude.

Comments, anyone?


Scott J. said...

"But bureaucrats always prefer to do things the most complicated possible way, it seems."

The most expensive way, too.

Dan S. said...

By itself, this decision is of practically no consequence. The net result, after the loan is repaid with interest, will be a transfer of about $20,000 from the water fund to the sewer fund. That's not very much money and besides, both funds ultimately get their revenue from the same rate payers (though not always in the same proportion).

The water fund currently has a balance of about $6 million and the sewer fund has a balance of about $13 million. There are no immediate plans to spend any of this money--it's just sitting there as a cash reserve, "in case of emergency," earning less than 1% interest. Any hypothetical emergency that would deplete even the $6 million would be pretty far-fetched and even if there were such an emergency, they could always approve a loan from the sewer fund at that time.

So it's beyond my comprehension that the city council and administration prefer to pay this $1 million water fund expense via a loan from the sewer fund. Still, it has no material consequence.

However, as Rudi suggests, this unfathomable decision doesn't bode well for the prospect of bringing any intelligence to bear on upcoming decisions that will have significant consequences.

Our government is broken. There is a disease in the Municipal Building that prevents otherwise intelligent people from acknowledging obvious facts and using their common sense.

Blackrulon said...

If i reember correctly Matthew Godfrey often commented on the folly of borrowing from the cemetary fund to help pay down the debt on Mt. Ogden Golf Course. Will this money ever be repaid/returned to the  original fund?

CityCouncilSucks said...

 The 2012 Ogden City Council is dumber than a bag of hammers.

Time to fix this problem in 2013.

Disgusted said...

It's the city department heads and staff that are running the city. They're the ones that need to go, starting with the economic development department.

Dan S. said...

According to the city's latest annual financial report, the golf course fund owed the cemetery fund $102,017 as of the end of last June. I seem to recall hearing a discussion recently to the effect that the rest of this debt would be paid off soon, if not already. I think they're doing this by giving the golf course fund an annual subsidy out of the general fund.

The annual report also shows a debt of $801,819 owed by the golf course fund to the general fund. There are some other interesting inter-fund debts as well, all listed on page 57.

googlegirl said...


Comprehensive Annual Financial Report FY 2011


googlegirl said...

 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report FY  2011

Danny said...

Ogden City bureaucrats do things in the most complicated way possible for one reason: Power.

The more complicated things are, the more confusing they are, and the more the council will have to rely on the bureaucrats to tell them what to do.

The move is of no consequence to everyone except the bureaucrats.

If you want to watch a bunch of clueless people in way over their heads, go to a city council meeting.

Ogden city bureaucrats are some of the worst, most corrupt people in the world, and our city council are totally outgunned.  They aren't stupid people, just naive and spineles.

Blackrulon said...

If the remaining balance is $102,017 then lets just fre one of the dolts in the Economic Development branch of Ogden city government. That would pay for the remaining balance and lessen the chances of city bureaucrats suggesting another city-taxpayer boondoggle development plan.

Disgusted said...

More disgusting is page 58 where it shows the city writing off $5 million of RDA debt owed to the city. Way to go BD dept for making good investment for us residents!

Dan S. said...

For the record, I've just reviewed the video of the 6/19 council meeting. ( The utility inter-fund loan item begins at 15:20 and takes less than two and a half minutes. After a brief presentation from Mr. Arrington, no public input, and no discussion among council members, the motion was made by Hyer, seconded by Van Hooser, and passed unanimously. There was absolutely no mention of the water fund's $6 million cash balance or the fact that this loan is completely unnecessary.

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