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Palmerton to save $200,000 through refinancing bonds

Published January 27. 2012 05:02PM

Palmerton will save over $200,000 through the refinancing of several bond issues.

On a 6-0 vote, Borough Council agreed to enact an ordinance to refinance a $4.1 million in general obligation bonds. Councilman Richard Nothstein was absent.

Council agreed to the measure after it heard a presentation from Scott Shearer, of Public Financial Management, Inc., of Harrisburg, and Jens Damgaard, Bond Counsel of Rhoads & Sinon LLP.

Shearer told council the borough will save $203,494 "spread out over a couple of years."

"It hit the market at just the absolute right time," Shearer said. "Overall, I think everything worked really good."

That's much more than the initial $60,000 anticipated savings, said Shearer, who noted the borough saved that amount when it refinanced its 2003 bond issue back in 2006.

Damgaard explained the parameters of the ordinance to council. He said that most of the bonds are associated with the borough's water system. The savings, Damgaard said, will be used to pay debt services on the water fund for the next couple of years.

In other business, council:

• On a 5-0 vote, with one abstention, reappointed Dennis Behler as fire chief and Larry Zawaly assistant fire chief of the Palmerton Fire Department. Councilman Jason Behler abstained for personal reasons.

• Approved, on a 5-1 vote, established a policy covering continuation of benefits for workers' compensation, military and disability leave. Councilman Randolph Gursky was opposed because he said he didn't have time to read the policy.

• Approved the renewal of the Palmerton Memorial Park Association lease.

• Hired Kathleen Kidd as a part-time cleaning lady at the rate of $9 an hour. Kidd, who was hired to replace a prior worker, will clean the borough hall and borough police station.

• Approved the 2011 per capita tax exonerations in the amount of $1,140.

• Appointed Berkheimer & Associates as delinquent per capita tax collector for 2011 taxes.

• Renewed an agreement with Lower Towamensing Township for snow removal.

• Granted a handicapped parking request to Karen Kuntzman of 264 1/2 Lehigh Avenue.

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