• City council shuffling funds to make payments in light of late grant money.
By Byron Higgin
Rain isn’t the only setback affecting the current water/sewer/street project in Minneota.
Lack of grant money payments is forcing the city council to shuffle their money in order to make financial payments.
With the fourth payment of just over $300,000 due to Northdale Construction, project contractor, the city finds itself in a precarious financial situation.
“The county and state money has come in and we’ve used that, but now we need the money from the PFA (Public Finance Authority)”, said Mayor Tony Esping.
“And we still have a pile of regular bills,” added City Clerk Mary Joan Hennen.
The grant money, “will be paid,” said Mayor Esping. But project engineer Justin Christensen says, “He’s been in contact with PFA and he’s extremely frustrated,” said Esping, after talking on the telephone with Christensen.
Just over $1 million is expected in grant money.
So far Northdale has been paid about $727,000. MnDOT has paid $648,000 and the county $110,000.
With the payment to Northdale plus incoming bills, City adminsitrator Sarah Friesen said she’d feel comfortable if the city would cash a $100,000 CD in case money is needed.
“I’d like to wait to hear back from PFA before we start cashing CD’s,” said the mayor.
“We can cash it and reimburse it (the CD) as soon as funds are available,” added Friesen.
She was given the authority to cash the CD.
In the meantime. the city will make attempts to collect the PFA grant money.
And, they’ll contact Northdale to see if there is some leeway in making the current payment.