LEWISTOWN - Mifflin County stands to save a considerable amount of money following passage of an ordinance Thursday to re-finance general obligation bonds first issued in 2005 to take advantage of lower interest rates.
During the Mifflin County Commissioners bi-weekly business meeting, the board passed an ordinance authorizing non-electoral debt by the issuance of the bonds that will result in a savings of at least $650,000 in payments, according to Chairman Mark Sunderland.
"This is not robbing Peter just to pay Paul," Sunderland said. "This is going to result in real savings."
Commissioner Otis Riden pointed out the county passed a similar ordinance last year when interest rates dropped again to below the original issuance dates.
"This refunding will generate substantial savings for the county," Commissioner Kevin Kodish said. "The refunding structure will lower our current debt service payments and will not extend the term of the series of 2005 bonds (which are the bonds being refunded)."
Sunderland added that the county is guaranteed to save $650,000 and that number could increase depending upon the price of the bonds, which are scheduled to be sold on Monday.
In other business Thursday, the commissioners adopted a proclamation designating May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month.
"Motorcycling is a popular form of recreation and transportation for thousands of people across the commonwealth and our nation," Sunderland read from the proclamation. "In efforts to reduce the number of motorcycle crashes and fatalities, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation urges all motorcyclists to take advantage of free training courses. It is especially important that the citizens of our commonwealth be aware of motorcycles on the streets and highways and recognize the importance of staying alert, practicing safe driving techniques and promoting motorcycle safety."
On hand to accept the proclamation were representatives of the Patriot Riders chapter of the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education of Pennsylvania, President Sue Fleming and Treasurer Dorothy Nixon.
In other business, Phil Lucas, director of emergency services in Mifflin County, was on hand to open three bids for the county's 911 center radio upgrade project. Last month, the county rejected bids from the same three companies, stating they were too high, and restructured the project guidelines in an effort to reduce the cost.
The bids, in order, were: COM Pros of Altoona, $446,059.05; Trans Corps of Harrisburg, $588,762; and Centre Communications of Bellefonte, $618,700.
Following the bid opening, the commissioners voted to table the issue until the county solicitor had time to review the offers.
In other business Thursday, the commissioners:
* Approved purchase of service agreements for use, if needed, by Children & Youth, with Clear Vision Residential Treatment Services Inc. of Montgomery, and Family Care for Children and Youth Inc. of Milton.
* Appointed Carl Hartley to fill an unexpired term on the Mifflin County Solid Waste Authority.
* Accepted the retirement of Charles I. Clare as payroll clerk effective April 27.
* Accepted the resignation of D. Shawn Ream as deputy coroner effective April 20.
* Hired Tyler Deitz as a part-time corrections officer effective April 29.
* Hired Dylan Luckovich as a part-time corrections officer effective May 6.
* Approved the hiring of Amanda Cherry as an unpaid intern in the Children & Youth department effective May 14.
* Approved the hiring of Darlene Lopez as an unpaid intern in the Children & Youth department effective May 21.
* Hired Misty Horan as deputy coroner effective May 1.
* Promoted Nicole Sellers from caseworker I to caseworker II in the Children & Youth department effective May 14.
* Approved an offer of $50 for a parcel located in Armagh Township that is currently in repository for unsold properties.