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Finance package given positive recommendation

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana’s administration wants to take out a $2 million line of credit with Citizens and Northern Bank and City Council’s finance committee gave the proposal a positive recommendation Tuesday, but with changes.

“We’re only going to be borrowing the $2 million in the form of a general obligation bond to keep up with cash flow,” said William E. Nichols Jr., city finance director and general manager of River Valley Transit.

The committee ensured language in the bond document provided for council to review any use of the money prior to expenses on projects.

Nichols noted how it was fairly standard for cities to have a line of credit to cover the costs while the city waits for reimbursement through various grants.

Councilman Joel Henderson stepped into the conversation. He asked for clarification on how much debt the city had incurred from the last refinancing package.

The committee noted how the interest rates are low and the time is right for the issuance of the bond. Any interest on it will be paid for through general resources, Nichols said.

The draw down date is two years and for a project the city might need all of it or might need half, he said.

The committee also gave a positive recommendation for the administration to accept a $200,000 grant from the Commonwealth Finance Authority for building an inclusive and accessible playground at Memorial Park.

The playground equipment can be ordered with special savings of $65,000 if it is accepted and begins sooner rather than later, Campana said.

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