News Column

Schuylkill Township supervisors refinance loan, deal with office key issue

July 5, 2014

By Stephen J. Pytak, Republican & Herald, Pottsville, Pa.

July 05--MARYD -- The Schuylkill Township supervisors refinanced a loan Wednesday that the township borrowed from the USDA in 2006 for roof repairs.

"It was a $400,000, 30-year loan with a 4.5 percent interest rate. We, as a board, have been putting chunks of money onto that loan. Earlier this year, we were talking about refinancing it. I've been working with several different banks on getting interest rates, and I've gotten quotes from five different banks," Supervisor Christine Verdier said at the township's July meeting Wednesday.

The lowest she said she could find was with Mauch Chunk Trust Company, Tamaqua.

"It could save us over $110,000. Instead of doing a 30-year loan, with which we have 22 years left, we're cutting it down to a 10-year loan at 3.35 percent. The total fees we'd be paying out to USDA would be $164,000 over the life of the loan that is left, than the Mauch Chunk rate, which would be about $51,700. So that's where our $110,000 in savings would be, " Verdier said.

Verdier made the motion, and it was carried unanimously with votes from supervisors Chairman Charles A. Hosler and Supervisor Charles Fayash.

In the vote, the supervisors also agreed to pay its solicitor, Michael S. Greek, Lansford, to serve as bond counsel.

"I'll work with Mike because we also need some bond counsel to do all the paperwork for us, which could cost between $5,000 and $10,000," Verdier said.

In other business, the supervisors decided to remove a stop sign in Brockton at the northwest corner of Valley Street, T-512, and Emerick Street, T-542.

"It was put in two years ago for safety. The supervisors believed there was a blind spot in the road. We voted to take it down because there's no reason for it," Hosler said.

Last month, in a vote of 2-1, the supervisors decided to re-key the doors to the office used by Mary E. Bubel, the township secretary/treasurer, so only she had access to it.

On Wednesday, Hosler admitted the supervisors were still figuring out how to make that arrangement work, especially if Bubel takes a vacation.

Citizens also complained about the situation during the public portion Wednesday.

"Why was the long-standing practice of all supervisors having keys to the records office changed to the township secretary only? Just to keep the new guy out?" Dan Gray, Brockton, asked during the public portion.

Gray was referring to Fayash, who took office in January.

The supervisors did not answer Gray's question at Wednesday's meeting.

At June's meeting, Hosler explained the motive for the change: "We just don't want everybody going in there. That's all."

"I'd like to make a motion that there be copies of all the ordinances and information that us as township supervisors need to do our job to be put in a filing cabinet or in a closet," Fayash said at 8:22 p.m. Wednesday.

"I'll second that on the condition that isn't going to be a free-for-all, that anybody can come up here and make copies without going through the Right to Know," Hosler said.

Verdier left the meeting at 8:18 p.m., saying she was feeling under the weather.


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Source: Republican & Herald (Pottsville, PA)

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