Debt ceiling concerns reach Webster Township
The talk about the debt ceiling and the negotiations around it in Washington D.C. got the Webster Township Board to thinking, so it called a special meeting.
In an email sent out to the community on last week, Webster Township Supervisor John Kingsley said “I am sending this email to inform you of a special meeting of the Board of Trustees (BOT) this Tuesday, May 30th at 6:30 pm. Normally, I wouldn't send you an email if we were having a meeting, but for those who observe what your Township BOT is doing either in person or by reading the minutes, I thought that you would want to know without having to check our webpage to discover the meeting. As you are aware, there have been discussions in Washington about the debt ceiling. Webster Township received over $700,000 in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act of 2021) funds that are currently in our bank account. Part of the negotiations is a proposal to take this money back. Previously, the Township BOT decided to use the money for capital improvement projects. With these negations, we should reconsider the possibility of using the money for operations instead. This is the only item on the agenda for the special meeting. Have a happy and safe Memorial Day and remember those who did not leave their uniforms.”
The Sun Times News followed up with Kingsley and township treasurer John Scharf about the meeting.
Noting that he called the meeting, Kingsley said “We took two actions at the meeting: 1) we moved $715, 549.08 from ARPA funds in our bank account to revenue to offset normal operating expenses, primarily employee wages, and 2) to contract with Tribble painting to paint the trim on the Township Hall.”
Scharf said, “Supervisor Kingsley called the Special Meeting due to perceived risk that the debt ceiling negotiations in Washington D.C. could possibly result in unallocated ARPA funds being "clawed back." In other words, we wished to consider taking action to reduce the risk of Webster losing the ARPA funds already received.”
He said a resolution was deliberated and ultimately adopted by the board unanimously.
“It had been the Board's intent to spend the ARPA funds on one or more capital improvement projects,” Scharf said. “Unfortunately, we have not yet received the requested bids. Therefore, it was decided to allocate the ARPA funds to cover our ongoing personnel expense. I predict that we will use the money that we save on personnel to replace our parking lot later this year.”