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Kiss Administration Grilled by Council on Telecom Finances

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Burlington taxpayers could be on the hook for any unpaid money owed to the city's general fund if Burlington Telecom were to be sold for less than what it owes outside investors.

That admission came from Chief Administrative Officer Jonathan Leopold under tough questioning from Councilor Ed Adrian (D-Ward 1) at last night's special city council meeting called to discuss financial problems at the city's municipally owned telecom company.

In all, Burlington Telecom has borrowed roughly $17 million since early 2008.

To date, Leopold has stressed that city taxpayers would not see their money put at risk due to the loans given to BT. Instead, Leopold said refinancing the debt or a sale of the assets could cover the owed money.

But, when asked by Adrian how the loss would be accounted for if Burlington Telecom were sold for less than what it owes, Leopold said it would be a "negative balance" on the city's general fund.

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