Catasauqua Press

Monday, May 22, 2017

Commissioners approve refinancing

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 by mark reccek Special to The Press in Local News

The Lehigh County Board of Commissioners has approved an ordinance that will net a savings to the county of $4 million.

The measure, approved at the board’s Feb. 8 meeting, authorizes the refinancing of county general obligation bonds, series 2017.

“This is basically an attempt to save some money by refinancing our bond issues,” Commissioner Percy Dougherty, sponsor of the bill, said.

According to Dougherty, with the refinancing, the county’s payment will drop from roughly a 5-percent interest rate to a 1.2- to 2.25-percent rate.

Dougherty added the major change in the bill is the word “note” that has been added. The addition, he said, it will allow the county to explore the possibility of an issue from a bank as well.

Commissioner Brad Osborne, while supporting the bill, said he hopes county Executive Tom Muller follows through with plans for the $4 million.

“I’m persuaded by the executive’s argument that the best route to take is to front-load this,” Osborne said. “I am relying on [Muller] to put this $4 million in the stabilization as he said he would.”

Vice Chairperson Amanda Holt said the decision the board will make regarding the financing is a significant decision.

“I think we need to take a more strategic perspective on this,” she said.

Commissioner David Jones Sr. said he was supporting the bill to refinance because he believes the board was not in a position to take a longer, strategic view.