Who needs a bank or credit union, when you’ve got Oxford Township making loans?
Last week, the township board voted to 5-1 authorize the parks and recreation commission to purchase two vacant parcels, totalling 5.024 acres, located on the west side of Coats Rd., south of Seymour Lake Rd.
To pay for the land, which will become part of Seymour Lake Township Park, officials agreed to loan parks and rec. $130,000 to be repaid over a five-year period at a 3 percent interest rate. The money is coming from the township’s building permit fund.
Per the loan agreement, parks and rec. is to pay the township $28,982 annually beginning in 2018 and ending in 2022.
Parks and rec. will pay a total of $14,910 in interest over the life of the loan.
The land will remain open space and be used by the parks and rec. department for special event parking and as practice fields for soccer and lacrosse.
The parcels, both of which contain frontage on Coats Rd., are surrounded by two of the parks department’s previous land purchases – a 6.023-acre parcel acquired in 2010 for $212,000 and two parcels, totalling 14 acres, bought in 2006 for $225,000.
Clerk Curtis Wright cast the lone dissenting vote because he wanted to charge less interest. “I’m sure the parks and rec. could use that money more so than the building permit fund could,” he said.
Treasurer Joe Ferrari disagreed.
“To me, that’s not our call,” he said.
Ferrari pointed out that when the sewer fund loaned $212,000 to parks and rec. seven years ago, an interest rate of 3 percent was charged. In order to be fair, he believes the interest charged should not vary from fund to fund.
“To me, you want to be consistent,” Ferrari explained. “Otherwise, you’re saying the sewer fund is more of a priority than the building permit fund.”