The Canal Winchester Times

Vote expected Dec. 16

Council eyes updated city investment policy

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As Canal Winchester continues to streamline its finances, Finance Director Amanda Jackson has asked for an updated investment policy to better fit the times.

Jackson asked city council at its Dec. 2 meeting to consider a new investment policy that the staff will be able to use going forward, in hopes or providing increased return on investments.

"As we've discussed before, our investment policy hasn't been amended since the late 1990s, and so we're trying to get it up to 21st-century standards and in line with what other cities are doing," Jackson said.

Councilman Rick Deeds had asked Jackson at a Nov. 4 finance committee meeting whether this would create rules as to when the finance director is allowed to invest city funds or if that approval would need to come through council.

"Generally, this is at the finance director's discretion, and a lot of those decisions depend on what we would have coming up in regards to projects, which is why it's important to have close communication about finances with the other directors," Jackson said.

The original investment policy was adopted in 1996 and has not been revised since.

The updated investment policy provides the finance director with greater discretion regarding investing funds in the currently available range of financial instruments, such as those offered by the U.S. government, state bonds, Ohio subdivision funds, commercial notes and FDIC-insured bank deposits.

Derivative investments would be considered strictly prohibited under the policy.

"Canal Winchester has been fortunate to have monies that are invested or could be invested, and this will allow us to look at other types of investments," Jackson said. "However, this will need to be voted on as an emergency if we want to get it done this year."

The amended legislation received a first reading Dec. 2.

Council members anticipate voting on it under emergency rules, suspending the third reading, at the Dec. 16 council meeting.

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