County board OKs bond refinancing
Lehigh County commissioners have approved an ordinance expected to net a savings of $4 million.
The measure authorizes refinancing of county general obligation bonds, series 2017.
“This is basically an attempt to save some money by refinancing our bond issues,” said Commissioner Dr. Percy Dougherty, sponsor of the bill, at the board’s February meeting.
According to Dougherty, by refinancing, the county’s payment will drop from roughly 5 percent interest to 1.2 to 2.25 percent.
Dougherty added the major change in the bill is the word “note” which has been added.
The addition, he said, will allow the county to explore the possibility of an issue from a bank as well.
Commissioner Brad Osborne, while supporting the bill, said he would like County Executive Tom Muller to follow through with plans for the $4 million.
“I’m persuaded by the executive’s argument that the best route to take is to front load this,” Osborne said. “I am relying on the executive [Tom Muller] to put this $4 million in the stabilization fund as he said he would.”
Vice Chair Amanda Holt said the decision the board will make regarding the financing is a significant decision.
“I think we need to take a more strategic perspective on this,” she said.
Commissioner David Jones Sr. said he was supporting the bill to refinance because the board is not in a position to take a longer, strategic view.