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City line of credit practical

Williamsport City Council has correctly given preliminary approval to a $2 million line of credit that gives the city flexibility to cover the cost of some big ticket projects in the next year while the city awaits grant reimbursements.

Those include Grafius Run flood mitigation, East Third Street Old City Gateway updates, repaving or River Valley Transit-related projects.

The work needs to be done and the city is in no position to pay for unforeseen costs that would only delay completion and probably lead to greater expense.

Council was just as wise to agree that any expenditure attributed to the line of credit should be subject to a review of its finance committee.

The borrowing does not specifically say that the expenditures are exclusively for grant-related expenditures, so there is a danger of exposure from borrowing for things that are not reimburseable.

The city can’t afford that and we trust the finance committee knows that and will monitor costs designated for the line of credit accordingly.

There is no arguing with the priority of the projects designated for the line of credit flexibility. We stand behind those projects.

So the line of credit makes sense. But the city, its council finance committee in particular, must be vigilant to make sure any new, long-term debt is, if necessary, minimal.

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