Whitehall-Coplay Press

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Borough proceeds with public works building bids

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Coplay council discusses option of larger loan to pay off earlier debt

Coplay Borough Council, at its May 5 remote workshop meeting, moved forward with a resolution to send out bids for a new public works building on borough property at 1 Bridge St.

There is some reluctance on moving forward now during a period of uncertainty, but the need for a new building has not diminished. Two years ago, council wanted to build a new municipal building. The costs came in higher than anticipated, and the project was dropped.

In October, the borough needs to pay off an existing loan that has been extended several times. It does not have the $1.6 million needed to pay off the debt, council was told.

During this period of low interest rates, council has the option to borrow $3.6 million with a new loan. The borough would pay off the existing $1.6 million note and use the remaining $2 million for a public works building.

The debt-financing plan works, but the net result is going to be an increase in taxes. Councilwoman Janet Eisenhauer indicated taxes would rise a little in 2021 and then more in 2022, before being reduced in 2023 and staying stable from that point on.

The unknown at this time is the cost for the public works building. Bids are due back from contractors May 29. The measure to solicit bids needed to be made last week to meet state bidding guidelines.

By the end of the month, council will have an idea of the cost of the new building.

With the bid estimate, council can then make a decision on the amount of the new loan.

Councilman Charles Sodl noted, for the record, the borough could borrow more money. He indicated the referenced $3.6 million limit is the amount council felt comfortable borrowing.