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April 24, 2014

Clarksville Parks Department gets needed relief

Officials approve $550,000 from rainy-day fund

CLARKSVILLE — The Clarksville Parks Department was granted a $550,000 “permanent” loan following a unanimous vote of the Clarksville Town Council this week.

Town attorney Chris Sturgeon said the parks department operates on funding received from its own specific tax base, and with the implementation of circuit breaker tax caps on property taxes, the department is without funds that were previously anticipated.

“According to the wording of the resolution, the parks department was going to be running out of money in their budget by the end of the month, so action had to be taken tonight,” Sturgeon said Monday.

The funds were taken from the town’s nearly $2.1 million rainy-day fund to go toward the parks department’s general fund.

“I am sure they are not the only [department] in that situation throughout the state,” Sturgeon said of the park department’s dwindling purse.

Several members of the town council took issue with the use of the word “loan” in the resolution, as the money is not to be repaid. Town officials responded by saying the language in the resolution was drafted at the guidance of the State Board of Accounts.

The agency specifically instructed the town to write the body of  the  resolution as if it was a temporary loan, but use the wording “permanent loan,” as the funds will not be returned to the rainy-day fund.

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