After the state’s local finance board delayed issuing a decision on dissolving the Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) and requested more time to review the city’s $35 million borrowing plan to reconstruct primary roads in the city, the city council last week postponed both ordinances to a mid-September meeting.
Local officials expected the board to give its blessings in ending the authority’s existence, but instead state officials heard from both sides and decided to issue a decision sometime later. The authority’s lawyer argued before the board that killing the authority would result in the city incurring much more in costs to taxpayers than just folding the authority’s function to the city’s public works department.
The board’s inaction resulted in the city council postponing the ordinance dissolving the agency to a later date. “Without any local finance action can we proceed?” asked Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman, to the city’s lawyer, during the previous council deliberation.
“It would not be proper to vote tonight,” answered Ben-David Seligman, lawyer filling in as corporation counsel. “I believe the administration does not intend to ask for a vote tonight.”
Business administrator Nellie Pou managed to convince the council to table the vote to the council’s next regular meeting after holding a public hearing. The council held the public hearing, and plans to vote on the ordinance on September 16th, 2014.
Similarly, the $35 million borrowing plan put forward by mayor Jose Torres to reconstruct most of the city’s primary roads, was postponed to the same September meeting. The city intended to get the item on the board’s agenda, but state officials requested additional time to review the borrowing plan before making a decision.
Pou is expecting the board to give its permission to proceed on September 10th, 2014 to both matters.