JOPLIN, Mo. - The amendment eliminates roughly $434,000 in general fund expenses. The money would have initially been used to make an annual payment on a lease purchase the city used back in 2003.
In January of this year, instead of those annual payments, the council agreed to payoff the remaining $2.87 million owed on the lease with reserve funds. That lump sum was then placed into an irrevocable account, where the city can make annual payments until the first payoff date in October 2019.
City Finance Director Leslie Haase says this move is more than beneficial for just this year's budget.
"But it will also be in future years because that is an annual payment that if we didn't pay it off early, we'd have to pay until 2023," Haase explained.
With the almost $3 million debt repaid, the city will also be saving roughly $150,000 in interest. The $435,000 removed from this year's budget will likely be used towards something else that still has yet to be decided to keep the budget balanced.