South Side refinances bonds, considers possible tax hike

The South Williamsport Borough Council refinanced bonds that will save the borough about $700,000 more than hoped for and briefly discussed a preliminary budget that could include a 0.5 mill tax hike in a special meeting Thursday.

That millage increase could translate to a tax hike of $50 more per year for homeowners with a property valued at $100,000.

The refinancing savings will be used primarily for improvements to the sewer system, Michael D. Miller, borough administrator, said.

The council authorized moving ahead with the refinancing as long as a net savings of $175,000 was realized.

Based on a bid chosen out of 12, the borough sees a savings of around $842,000.

Along with the refinancing, the borough is raising an additional $2 million to be used for capital projects, primarily paving projects, Miller said.

“The projects will fit into the Williamsport Municipal Water Authority’s ongoing project of replacing water lines,” he said.

The paving could begin in the late summer or early fall of 2017, but Councilmember Henry Frey Jr. stressed any projects that would be done with the funds shouldn’t be rushed, in case there is more work that needs to be done under the streets before paving would be completed.

The borough has three years to spend the money beginning on Dec. 6, when the money becomes available.

Voting to unanimously approve the refinancing was Cory Lehman, Fred March, Joseph LaRue Jr., John Decker, Carl Nolan, J. Bernard Schelb, David Geise and Henry Frey Jr. Robert Cronin was absent.

The next borough council regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 14.