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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • BEGWS ponders ways to pay its utility bill

  • Bath village officials will be looking at ways they can recoup a $650,000 loan to their utility after learning the one option isn’t possible.

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  • Bath village officials will be looking at ways they can recoup a $650,000 loan to their utility after learning the one option isn’t possible.
    The village board had hoped to transfer funds from a Bath Electric Gas and Water Systems’ untouched sewer reserve to replenish the emergency loan drawn Dec. 14 from the village’s checking and savings accounts.   
    However, the BEGWS reserve can only be used for sewer repair, village Attorney John Leyden told the village board Monday night.
    Village board members had hoped the reserves could be used to pay back the $43,000 in checking and $607,000 in savings used to pay off a revenue anticipation note bond owed by BEGWS, and prevent a technical default by the utility.
    The funds must be back in village coffers by the time the village closes its books May 31. The village also has roughly $800,000 in an interest-bearing account.
    The BEGWS one-year note has been routinely issued for at least 15 years and typically renewed for a second year.
    The first mention of a note being issued for $100,000 goes back to 1997, according to BEGWS’ records.
    Since then, the size of the note has grown substantially, BEGWS Director Matthew Hunter said.
    In the past renewing the bond has allowed BEGWS to rely on higher fuel payments from customers during the winter to pay down the debt, said Hunter, who
    has been with the utility for three months.
    But last year, fuel payments were down and the utility was unable to pay off the note, he said.
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