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Tuscola City Council discusses financial future for city

Submitted Photo
City Administrator Drew Hoel was recognized during the October 11 Tuscola City Council meeting for his 25 years of service to the city.

By Kendra Hennis
The meeting of the Tuscola City Council was called to order at 7:30 p.m. with all members present.

Following approval of the consent agenda, the council heard from City Treasurer Alta Long about the Fiscal Year 2021. Long noted that the report had been completed and would be discussed at the next meeting, but wanted to provide the council with some highlights. The first was that the City of Tuscola’s financial position is up. She explained that the net position (net worth) increased by $2.5 million overall during the last fiscal year. Long also noted that the city’s operating cash position is adequate, with eight millions worth of expenses in the general fund, and 12 months of expenses in water and sewer funds. She also reported that the city’s dept is down, bringing it down to under $1 million in total debt for the first time since the 1980’s. 

The council then discussed a proposal of sale received from Eddie Boutlier/Red Barn Veterinary Services in regards to their properties at 132 and 134 West Sale Street. 132 was formerly Curves, and 134 currently houses Sierra’s Place gaming parlor. City Attorney Andrew Bequette explained that they received notice last week that the owners would like to sell the properties this Friday. The proposed terms of the sale do not provide sufficient proceeds to satisfy the debts owed to the city, and the owners have asked the council to consider a partial payoff in exchange for a release of their mortgages on the properties. He explained that over $50,000 was still owed on the properties, with some payments not made since October 2018. Bequette advised that since the payment history has not been great, that the council should consider asking them to consider another deal, which would at the least require them to put the note of what is owed to the city. It was also explained that since the city was not the only one who was on the loan, they were unable to foreclose on the properties on take ownership. The council voted to reject the current offer and send Bequette for negotiations and give him the authority to execute a lean release. 

The council also: 
* Approved the minutes of the October 12 meeting.

* Approved the September 2021 financial report.

* Approved the payment of bills in the amount of $146,366.

* Approved a Community Building Lease with Alcohol with Toni Jones for Wedding Reception November 5-7, 2021.

* Approved the Tuscola Area Ministerial Alliance Drive-thru Nativity on December 4, 2021.

* Approved the Tuscola Salvation Army to ring bells and collect donations on Main and Sale Streets every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning November 20 and ending December 18.

* Adjourned at 8:02 p.m. until the November 8 meeting at 7:30 p.m. with Mayor Dan Kleiss wishing all a safe and happy Halloween!

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