Monticello City Council has agreed to refinance debt on two of its loans in an effort to save interest over the next several years. The council first discussed the possibility of using funds that the city currently has on certificate of deposit (CD) to refinance debt during a meeting in April.
Since then, Mayor Jeffrey Edwards and City Clerk-Treasurer Greg Latham have looked at several of the loans the city currently holds and came up with the plan to pay off the aerial truck and the loan on the city hall annex. Those two projects total approximately $379,000 and would use a portion of the $500,000 CD that the city currently holds.
The refinancing plan was brought before the council once again during last Monday night’s meeting.
Latham noted that the city is earning very little on the CD right now, but by using the money to finance these two loans, the city would actually pay back into the fund and realize significant savings in interest.
Edwards said during the first year the city would save $11,336 in interest. Over the next five years, the interest saved would be $50,802.
Edwards noted that the payments are already built into the city’s budget, so the money would be put back into surplus funds.
For many years, J.D. Rogers has contributed weekly weather reports and monthly summaries to local media as part of his role as local observer for the National Weather Service.
Last week, Rogers announced his retirement as official weather observer, citing health issues.
Rogers has been an important part of the weather reporting team for the National Weather Service since 1985. He has kept precipitation readings for the local community for the past 28 years and was in daily contact with the National Weather Service to provide them with those numbers.
And if there was a special weather event, like a strong storm, Rogers also made note of that during his daily call to the weather service.
Last week, Rogers said he made the call to the weather service notifying them that he would be unable to continue as the local observer. He said they had not notified him yet about a replacement.
The 78-year-old has dedicated much of his life to the weather. He is a retired Air Force weather forecaster and also worked with NOAA in the space weather program.
So, it was natural that he become a local observer for Monticello after his retirement from the Air Force. That meant Rogers had to record precipitation totals outside his home twice each day. He also kept records regarding the high and low temperature each day.
His dedication did not go unnoticed. In 2005, Rogers was the recipient of the John Campanius Holm Award. The Holm Award is NOAA’s second most prestigious award with only 25 presented each year around the country.
The award was created to honor cooperative observers for outstanding accomplishments in the field of meteorological observations. It is named for a Lutheran minister who was the first person known to have taken systematic weather observations in the American Colonies.