$1.8 million to purchase land for public works department
BY PAUL WILLISTEIN
The Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners has approved nearly $2 million in financing to purchase a property across from the township municipal building.
The property is intended for use by the Salibury Township Public Works Department.
Commissioners voted 5-0 at the Nov. 10 township meeting to approve an ordinance authorizing Issuance of a 2022 General Obligation Note for $1,841,000. Commissioner Alex Karol, seconded by Commissioner Alok Patnaik, made the motion to bring the ordinance to a vote.
“We’re borrowing the funds to purchase the McAuliffe property across the street,” Christopher M. Gibbons, principal, Concord Public Financial Advisors, Inc., the firm handling the obligation note for the township said.
“We went to 35 different banks,” Gibbons said to commissioners at the Nov. 10 meeting in the municipal building. “Thirty banks gave us 10 proposals.
“That’s a testimony to the credit worthiness of the township,” Gibbons said.
Chosen was Embassy Bank. The interest rate will be 3.3 percent annually for seven years. There will be a 4.5 percent variance cap. The note was offered for a 15- or 20-year term. The rates are tax-exempt.
“You can prepay it without penalties,” Gibbons said.
“We would like to go with the 20-year rate,” Salisbury Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich said at the township meeting.
“It gives us breathing room, especially with fire department commitments,” Salisbury Township Director of Finance Paul Ziegenfus said at the township meeting.
“After a review process, Dec. 12 will be closing [date for the note],” Attorney Kevin C. Reid of King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC., Bethlehem, which prepared the ordinance said.
“I have reviewed it and it’s satisfactory,” Salisbury Township Solicitor Attorney John W. Ashley said of the ordinance.
The documentation for the ordinance is filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Reid said.
The debt schedule would be $62,000 in 2023. The township budgeted $139,000 for the debt in the 2023 budget.
“The way they set it up gives us some flexibility,” Ziegenfus said.
The approximate 35-acre property, McAuliffe Asphalt Paving Inc., is at 2937 S. Pike Ave. The township municipal building is at 2900 S. Pike Ave.
John F. McAuliffe Jr., 92, of Lower Saucon Township, died Dec. 4, 2021. He owned McAuliffe Asphalt Paving for more than 60 years, according to an online obituary by K.V. Knopp Funeral Home. An Internet listing for the firm states it is “permanently closed.”
In other business at the Nov. 10 meeting, commissioners voted 5-0 to approve:
•An ordinance approving procedures for the collection of unpaid real estate taxes. Board of commissioners Vice President Rodney Conn made the motion, seconded by Commissioner Heather Lipkin, to bring the ordinance to a vote.
•A resolution directing the Lehigh County Tax Claim Bureau to cease collection of unpaid real estate taxes. Patnaik made the motion, seconded by Lipkin, to bring the resolution to a vote.
•A motion amending the agreement with Portnoff Law Associates to include the collection of unpaid real estate taxes. Karol made the motion, seconded by Conn, to bring the motion to a vote.
•Resolution to appoint Dennis Takacs Jr. as Salisbury Township Interim Emergency Management Coordinator. Conn made the motion, seconded by Patnaik, to bring the resolution to a vote.
•Motion to approve a request for a well isolation distance waiver at 1436 Seidersville Road. Lipkin made the motion, seconded by Karol, to bring the motion to a vote.
•Motion to approve payment No. 3 (final payment) of $19,035.95 to Columbia Excavating, LLC, for the Lehigh Avenue stormwater improvements project. Patnaik made the motion, seconded by Lipkin, to bring the motion to a vote.
After the Nov. 10 meeting workshop, commissioners met in executive session.
The Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners was scheduled to meet 7 p.m. Nov. 22, in the municipal building instead of Nov. 24, the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
The Salisbury Township Planning Commission next meets in the municipal building 7 p.m. Nov. 30, instead of Nov. 23 because of Thanksgiving Day eve.