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Palmerton Area High School roof replacement a priority

Published March 21. 2011 05:01PM

The replacement of its high school roof is chief among a list of five projects Palmerton Area School District will accept proposals on next month.

The district will accept bids for the high school roof replacement project until 10 a.m. April 18. Later that day, the district will accept bids for the S.S. Palmer generator replacement at 1 p.m.; Towamensing Elementary playground access at 1:30 p.m.; high school UST removal at 2 p.m.; and Towamensing Elementary deck and rails at 2:30 p.m.

At an estimated cost of $1,053,000, the roof is projected to be the highest expense on the list of year one projects that total about $1,767,400, said Rob Sarnowksi of Barry Isett & Associates.

A prebid meeting will be held at 3 p.m. April 4 at the project site, whereby all prospective bidders are encouraged to attend.

In January, the board, on a 7-1 vote, approved Barry Isett & Associates to move forward with various projects. Essentially, the board approved, in concept, years one and two with investigation and design at a cost of about $4,808,400.

At a workshop held earlier that month, the committee was presented with an updated list of projects as part of a three-year construction plan that totals about $5,309,950.

In December, the board agreed to adopt a resolution to borrow an additional $5 million and restructure its 2006 bond issue in the amount of $5.4 million that is scheduled to be paid off in 2026. The bonds have a five-year call, and the interest rate will be 3.95-percent from 2011-2026. The district also has a 2007 bond in the amount of $1,545,000 scheduled to be paid off in 2018.

In November, the board, on an 8-1 vote, agreed to authorize Barry Isett & Associates to begin design work on the high school roof. Also at that time, the board, on a 7-2 vote, agreed to authorize the firm as engineer of record for the district, effective immediately.

In October, the board agreed to borrow an additional $5 million to fund maintenance and repair projects, with the stipulation that unused borrowed money be used to pay down the debt. That decision came after two prior motions, one to borrow $5 million, and the other, to borrow $2 million, were defeated.

Also at that time, the board agreed to refinance a pair of bond issues and the energy performance lease.

In July, the board agreed to refinance its 2005 bond issue in the amount of $6 million that is scheduled to be paid off in 2016. In the process, it saved $175,314.

Business manager Lisa Vignone previously said that while the payments will go up, the district will not exceed the $1.6 million a year in debt service without impacting the amount of the loan payments for the next eight years.

As a result, the debt service for 12 years will be about $1.6 million, Vignone said, with the remaining four years at about $1.2 million, she said.

Had the board not agreed to borrow, the debt service would have decreased to $1.2 million in 2019, Vignone said.

From 2020-2023, it would have been about $670,000, and from 2024-2026, about $470,000, at which point the district would have been done with its debt service, she said.

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