CRISFIELD — To be ready for those uncertain times the Crisfield City Council voted unanimously to double the line of credit available for emergencies from $100,000 to $200,000.
The original line of credit was approved in November 2012 — less than one month after superstorm Sandy — and was for recovery expenses requiring payment before insurance or other federal disaster assistance funds were received.
This time Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Morgan requested the increase “to prepare for emergency situations” like water and sewer breakdowns when state revenue is less due to COVID-19 or there are other budgetary reductions.
The state, she said, has already announced it will reduce Highway User Revenue this year by $20,000.
The current interest rate of 3.25% is as it was in 2012 and based on a “Prime Floating Rate.” There are no costs to the city to have the line of credit available, repayment is required only if it’s tapped, and Mrs. Morgan said it’s never been fully utilized.
Mayor Barry Dize reiterated that the line of credit is for emergencies only, like the November 2019 watermain break on Richardson Avenue at West Chesapeake, where $100,000 “could be eat up in one sitting.” Also, he said the City Council votes on expenditures over $4,000 anyway “so that’s why I didn’t see it as a big deal.”
Councilwoman Charlotte Scott motioned for the resolution with a second by Vice President Eric Banks during the March regular city meeting.
The credit line expires at the end of the calendar year and is subject to renewal annually.