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Paper shift helps county pay bills

– Allen County Council members voted Thursday to borrow $10.5 million from the county’s rainy day fund to help with cash flow until the spring property tax payments arrive.

County Auditor Tera Klutz said the move is largely symbolic, as all the money is in one account, but moving it into the general fund lets that fund operate in the black.

Council members noted it also keeps the rainy day fund from being spent on other things.

“This is by far the largest amount we’ve ever borrowed,” Klutz said. “Last year we borrowed about $7 million.”

Klutz said the amount needed has risen because tax caps have reduced the amount of money left over in departmental budgets each year, so there is less to roll over into the new budget.

The main alternative to borrowing from the rainy day fund, Klutz said, is to borrow from a bank using a tax anticipation warrant, but that requires interest to be paid.

Council members voted unanimously to approve the loan; member Larry Brown, R-4th, was absent.

Officials said the loan leaves about $2 million in the rainy day fund.