DIXON – The Dixon City Council approved taking care of some of its debt.
During its regular meeting this week, the city council unanimously approved allocating a portion of the $40 million Rita Crundwell settlement funds to pay back three bonds early, saving the city nearly $4 million.
In early November, Midland States Bank, which was owed the majority of the money, and Sauk Valley Bank agreed to let the city pay off its bonds early, which the banks weren’t required to do.
The balance on the three bonds at the end of October was $12,316,000, Finance Director Paula Meyer said in November, adding the total repayment would have been $16,184,610 if they weren’t paid off until 2018, 2020 and 2021, respectively.
The city ridding itself of some debt is a “wonderful thing,” Mayor Jim Burke said during the meeting.
“I think we’ve made it very clear to the public that retiring and getting rid of some of this debt was going to be a priority,” he said. “So I don’t think anybody will be surprised at the action that we’re taking here on retiring this debt.”
The city in September reached an out-of-court settlement for $40 million with its former auditors CliftonLarsonAllen and Janis Card and Associates, as well as its former financial institution, Fifth Third Bank. The city said they were to blame for Crundwell’s theft of nearly $54 million in the past two decades. Crundwell was the city’s comptroller.
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