City Council unanimously authorized the administration Thursday to take out a $20 million bond and borrow $2 million toward projects to be finalized later.
Council and the administration said it is necessary to lock in the bond's interest rate today before it goes up, according to William E. Nichols Jr., city director of finance.
"Interest rates are volatile and are going up," Nichols said, adding that the city continues to see significant savings by the refinancing.
A change in the plan involved the Williamsport Parking Authority and River Valley Transit.
The authority originally requested $220,000 and asked to remove refunding and increase new borrowing to $500,000, according to Joseph Pawlak, city fiscal and budget officer.
In final reading of the ordinance, the request by the authority to reduce the amount borrowed - in order to refinance existing debt and increase their borrowing for new debt - was approved.
In addition, River Valley Transit had requested to borrow $6 million and was authorized instead to borrow $4.5 million.
It means one fewer project than originally envisioned by Nichols.
"There will be no streetscape on Pine Street," Nichols said.
The sidewalk improvements were to be part of the overall Trade and Transit II garage project, a proposed 225-space facility to replace the Mid-Town garage, which is scheduled to be razed.
"It's taken a lot of work since January or February," Council President Bill Hall said.
The administration and council asked for a list of projects to prioritize, which was provided by consultants Penn Strategies and Rettew Associates, he said.
The administration and the department directors then worked on getting the money in place, with council to determine later how it will be spent.
Nichols said the administration wants to spend the money on the completion of Reach Road, $350,000 in upgrades to Bowman Field, roof replacement at City Hall, a streetlights initiative and pool consolidation.
Should project costs come in higher, they can be adjusted accordingly, Nichols said.