Village hopes to pay off fire truck early, save on interest

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With the approval of the final 2012-13 budget, one village councilor is hoping they can find a way to pay off a loan for a new fire truck.

In June of last year, Bosque Farms Fire Chief Spencer Wood asked the council to approve the department's application for a $230,000 loan from the New Mexico Finance Authority for a new truck.

Spencer said using state fire funds, the department could come up with $130,000 and pay off the balance owed over three years. The plan was to let NMFA intercept the yearly loan payments from the state fire funds the village receives every year.

When it came time to approve the final budget Thursday evening, Councilor Wayne Ake noted that there was money available in the coming year budget, and asked if the loan could be paid off, instead of stringing it out for three years.

"They are paying 3 percent interest and we have the extra money. I think it would be prudent," Ake said.

Unfortunately, the village may be stuck paying the interest no matter what.

"I really think we have to pay the interest whether we pay off early or not," said Clerk/Administrator Gayle Jones. "If I remember correctly, it was presented as 'It is what it is.' I think we are going to pay off the whole amount. I don't think we will see any interest savings."

Treasurer Deborah Kelly suggested the amount intercepted by NMFA be given back to the fire department from the village's general fund.

"We are already putting $25,000 away. Whatever is intercepted, we could give back so Spencer would not see a reduction in his fire fund," Kelly said.

Ake said he was fine with that so long as it resolved the situation.

Jones said she would do some research and find out if it would be beneficial to pay off the interest early.

"Somewhere in the back of head, I think we have to pay the interest no matter what," she said. "If that is the case, I would recommend we give intercept back."

Approval of the final 2012-13 budget and resolution passed 4-0.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.