The Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors continues to move ahead on the potential purchase of a dredge for use in a Storm Lake dredging project.
Supervisors met with County Attorney Phil Havens on a proposed dredge purchase agreement which would spell out the terms to buy a dredge from the Izaak Walton League at McCook Lake in South Dakota. That group recently completed a 10-year dredging project on McCook Lake.
The board passed a resolution to provide $25,000 in "earnest" money contingent on both the McCook Lake group and the board of supervisors agreeing on a purchase agreement for the dredge and associated equipment, estimated at $450,000.
Supervisors are working with a municipal financing specialist on a general fund loan agreement, which could provide the necessary funding for the dredge purchase. A public hearing is tentatively set for Dec. 31 on the general fund loan agreement.
As long as payments for the loan agreement stay within the county's $3.50 general fund levy limit, a public hearing is all that's needed for approval.
There was also discussion at Tuesday's meeting on whether the board should provide a down payment before that public hearing. There is a sense of urgency to move ahead on the dredge purchase, Supervisor Jim Gustafson said.
Auditor Karen Strawn said the county has enough in its reserves to cover the down payment. If the county does pay the down payment out of its reserves, it has a 60-day window to replace those funds. Funds from a general fund loan agreement could be in place for the county by the beginning of February.