Council to discuss allocating funds towards debt

First Posted: 9/6/2014

At the Clark Summit Borough regular council meeting Sept. 3, council member Vincent Cruciani said he will make a motion at October’s regular council meeting to allocate more than half of $50,000 in extra funds in the borough’s capital reserves from last year towards paying off the borough’s debt.

“In order to allocate it [the money] towards anything, it would have to come from a motion,” Cruciani said. He told council he will motion to allocate $30,000 of the $50,000 towards the debt.

According to Cruciani, council is currently paying about $14,000 a month on the borough’s estimated $972,000 debt.

“If we paid $30,000, it would pay off roughly 3 percent of the debt and save the borough about $2,500, roughly, in compound interest,” Cruciani said.

Cruciani brought the issue to council in advance in the event council members wanted to discuss the matter further at September’s work session, which will take place the day before council’s regular October meeting.

“I don’t want to blindside anyone,” he said, suggesting the opportunity to debate the figure and adjust the amount at the work session Sept. 30, before he motions to vote Oct. 1.

Council President Gerrie Carey and other council members agreed allocating at least some funds to build the capital reserve would create a better safety net in case of a sudden need for funds. “Our goal was to build that capital reserve up,” said Carey.

“My point is to give a little to each. The taxpayers want that debt paid off,” Cruciani said, adding that any additional surplus the borough receives should be split between the debt and capital reserves until the debt is paid off.

Also, council member Herman Johnson suggested again that the Depot Street Project Committee reconvene, as he recommended during the August work session, to discuss options and communications to the public since Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) county funding was put on hold due to an audit by the state.

“I know people are upset thinking it was going to get started and it didn’t, under no control of the county, or ours,” Johnson said. “I just like to keep people informed.”

Gerard Hetman with the Community Relations Department in Lackawanna County reaffirmed to council, “Because the audit is ongoing, the state requires funds for all projects ongoing to be frozen until that process is complete.”

Vice President Dominick Scott also reported the borough “continues to do well,” collecting delinquent sewer bills. On Aug. 20, shut-off letters were mailed to 64 delinquent accounts, and 24 have made substantial payments since. Forty three accounts will be shut off on Sept. 29 if the holders of those accounts do not contact the borough to make payment arrangements.

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