News Column

DIB debt to be paid off in 2 years

June 28, 2014

By Ben Kleine, The News Herald, Panama City, Fla.

June 28--PANAMA CITY -- The Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) still may request a loan from Panama City, but the agency also is developing a plan to pay off its $50,000 debt.

At Wednesday night's meeting, Chairman Jim Hayden tabled sending a letter to the Panama City Commission asking for a low-interest loan, saying he wanted more time to draft the letter. Regardless of a potential City Commission decision, Sanger and Treasurer Jane Lindsey are working on a payment schedule for the debt and setting up debt service for next year.

"We want to pay it off in two years, with or without help from the city," Sanger said. "I told the city I'll get rid of it, and I'll get rid of it."

DIB has loans with Doral and Regions banks. The loan with Doral is for $5,000 and the loan with Regions is $40,000.

The board also voted Wednesday to decrease the number of bank accounts. Sanger said the loans from Doral and Regions covered a variety of things, including operational costs, information guides and service packets. He said the loans were acquired before he became director.

The DIB currently has bank accounts open with Doral, Regions and Trustmark banks, but based on convenience and a long working relationship, the DIB voted to have Trustmark be the group's primary bank.

"I don't know how many bank accounts y'all have at your businesses, but I feel one is enough," DIB Chairman Jim Hayden said.

In other action, the DIB:

- Approved prohibiting vendors at Friday Fest from setting up in front of businesses on Harrison Avenue until 4 p.m.

- Discussed having Dothan Carriage Company operate the carriage rides during Dickens of a Christmas. The DIB has been operating the rides through the company and the price has gone up to $4,000 for the event, up from $3,450.


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Source: News Herald (Panama City, FL)

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