Downtown college wants to go through the city’s finance authority to refinance bonds.

Last updated: April 09. 2013 11:34PM - 2193 Views
By BILL O達OYLE



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City Council meets in regular session 6 p.m. Thursday in Council Chambers, 4th floor, City Hall. Public comment is allowed.



WILKES-BARRE — City Council will vote Thursday on a resolution for the city’s finance authority to be used as a pass-through agency for the refinancing of $47.5 million in bonds for King’s College.


Drew McLaughlin, the city’s administrative coordinator, said the city is not financially obligated or liable for the funding, but King’s needs the city’s help to acquire tax-exempt bonds.


According to the proposed resolution, the college is refinancing some old debt used for capital improvement projects already completed, and some of the revenue generated by the refinancing will go to new projects on campus.


The bonds being refinanced date back to 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2007, according to the resolution, and were used by King’s for new facilities. The bonds were also used for improvements to existing facilities, including residence halls, gymnasium and parking areas.


McLaughlin said he did not know what new projects might be done with the funding from the refinancing.


College spokesman John McAndrew said $32 million of the refinancing will go toward old debt, $10 million to repay an endowment for the new annex on campus and the remaining $5.5 million could be used for future projects.


“The Board of Trustees meets the first week of May and is expected to approve a new five-year strategic plan,” McAndrew said. “I’m sure there will be some projects discussed where that money could be used.”


“I just want to be clear that the city is not obligated in any way to this financial transaction,” he said.


A public hearing on the issue will be held 9:30 a.m. April 22 and City Hall Council Chambers, 4th floor, City Hall, 40 E. Market St.


In other business Tuesday night, Council Vice Chairman Tony George again asked the administration the status of termination proceedings against LAG Towing. Council approved a motion in January to ask Mayor Tom Leighton to look into beginning termination measures against the towing company owned by Leo A. Glodzik.


Marie McCormick, city administrator, said no decision has been made to institute the proceedings. George said an arbitrator is supposed to handle the matter. Tim Henry, city attorney, said the mayor must first decide to terminate the contract.


“There are so many variables,” McCormick said after the meeting. “We’re looking at complaints and reviewing the contract. There is no timetable set for a decision.”


George also asked about Hawkeye Security Systems, the non-profit company formed by the city to handle the camera surveillance system. George was told no general fund money is given to Hawkeye.


George said he raised the issue after Wilkes-Barre Area School District terminated its contract with Hawkeye on Monday.

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