Springfield's Budget Emergency could Hurt Other Cities

SPRINGFIELD, FL-- The Advanced Waste-Water Treatment facilities are a partnership between Springfield, Parker, Callaway, and Bay County. Each governing body is a partial owner.

"We all chipped in as far as overall debt, to construct that. So we all have debt servicing obligations that we pay," said Parker Mayor Rich Musgrave.

Springfield has at times struggled to keep up with it's portion of the debt.

"I believe they were two payments behind, but they have already brought those up and are now fully paid," said Callaway city manager Marcus Collins.

But what happens if Springfield fails to pay it's share?

"Well if they defaulted, then the obligation would fall on the other partners. I have had conversations with them and it's my belief that they are in a financial bind, but that it is temporary in nature," said Musgrave.

Officials from both Callaway and Parker are confident Springfield officials can right the ship.

"I think their mayor and counsel will take whatever action that is needed to identify additional revenue sources. I also suggested to them that they take a long look at their budgets," said Musgrave.

"You can get into a situation where having a police department for example, the cost associated with that can be extremely high. Right now we are very happy with what the county is offering us and the cost of that," said Collins.

Or Springfield could elect to contract other public services like fire and utilities.

Springfield Mayor Ralph Hammond says the commission will not make any budget decisions until after an April 7th budget workshop.