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Late Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson said,
"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."

This blog is for people to share their thoughts and ideas on things of interest in this town of Buffalo Oklahoma.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Town of Buffalo Blowing Public Trust Funds?


Several months ago the Town of Buffalo formed a public trust authority. It was formed for the purpose of handling the moneys generated from the $14.00 increase on your water and sewer bill. Granted the trust formation was to give the TOB greater flexibility. Nevertheless, each month 7 bucks from the water bill and 7 bucks from the sewer bill is being kept tract of and put into its very own Trust “savings” account. It is very similar to putting back money for your kid’s college fund because you know sometime in the future you are going to have to spend a whole lot of money on them.

Their goal (at that time) was to raise the rates for infrastructure improvements that will be needed because the systems in place now are at the end of their life cycle. The infrastructure needs attention and that will cost lots of money. The savings are building and have been nicely since the rates have increased. Around $60,000 had been saved up since this was implemented.

The Public Trust had a rare meeting and decided to spend $23,000 to buy a house next to the fire department for more parking spaces. They were promised that $15,000 would be put back into the coffers of the Trust by other entities. That means that the Public Trust spent $8,000 of money that originally was intended for infrastructure improvements. That is a downfall of having a Public Trust that you can’t trust. Its flexibility has lent itself to self inflicted abuse. They used your rate increase for something it was never intended to be used for, to buy real estate. The fact is Harper, Buss, Daley, Carpenter, and Orange; as the public trust authority spent, thousands and thousands of dollars to buy a house, for more parking spaces, using moneys from the water and sewer rate increase.

Here is the kicker, as if you need more. The Town of Buffalo had left over from last year’s regular budget close to $100,000. They could have moved $8,000 of that over to the Public Trust fund instead of using any of the water and sewer fees to buy that house with. I’ll bet there are people in this town who would have much rather seen those very same dollars spent to repair/replace fire hydrants that don’t even work right.

I think I’ll go out and buy me a new fishing boat using my kid’s college savings fund.