Borough co-signs $23 million loan

MONTGOMERY – Borough Council took action Tuesday that brings a regional sewer service another step closer to reality.

Council co-signed with West Branch Regional Authority, the authority that is pursuing the construction and will oversee operation of a $25 million regional wastewater treatment plant in Clinton Township.

The sewer treatment plant will provide treatment for the borough, Clinton Township, Muncy Creek Township and the Borough of Muncy.

Each municipality’s respective councils and supervisors have signed guarantees that they will pay the debt on the $23 million PennVEST loan the authority was awarded at 1 percent interest over 30 years, according to Eric Moore, the authority’s executive director.

The municipalities created the authority, and if anything were to happen to the authority, the municipalities will pay any debt, he said.

“Chances of that kind of default or the authority dissolving are very low,” Moore said. “If we every go away we give back the infrastructure from the parties from which we obtained it,” Moore said.

Borough Solicitor Benjamin Landon explained the reason for the ordinance.

“The authority does not have taxing power,” he said. The council then approved the measure in the form of an ordinance.

A second ordinance, related to the first one, was also approved to obtain a $4 million line of credit for the authority’s interim funding.

“It assures money is available so we can pay the contractors in a timely fashion,” Moore said. Otherwise, he said, the authority would pay significant interest.

Landon said that, in terms of reimbursing the authority, PennVEST has a 60-day turnaround, which is not fast enough for most contractors who require or want to be paid within a 30-day period.