By: Diane Benjamin
While Bloomington is trying to pay cash for purchases instead of borrowing for capital expenses, Normal is running in the opposite direction.
The Town of Normal stockpiles money in reserves, the applicable fund for this discussion is Vehicle and Equipment reserves.
Obviously citizens in Normal are paying higher taxes so the Town can bank part of your money for the future. Tonight they will decide to finance a fire truck instead of paying cash. $1,000,000 was budgeted from the Vehicle and Equipment Reserves Fund. It wouldn’t have been budgeted if the money was not there.
From the budget – PDF page 31 https://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/18611/Town-of-Normal-Budget-2021-26
From tonight’s meeting documentation: https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4039
The Bait and Switch is on PDF page 77:
So the General Fund is fine and so are Vehicle and Equipment Fund reserves, but the Town wants to spend close to $100,000 on interest instead of paying cash.
See the last line: “future flexibility” and “changing circumstances”. What exactly does that mean?
Rivian isn’t bringing enough prosperity to allow Normal to pay cash as they promised?
Or, is money being stockpiled for the underpass?
You won’t find out tonight because the bobbleheads don’t care and the mayor will stop any discussions that might lead to the truth.
Keep this in mind when the Community Reinvestment Plan is discussed soon. Reserves are meaningless when an underpass needs your cash.