- Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 22:48
- Published on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 22:48
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The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) public hearing previously scheduled for Monday, Aug. 20 has been moved back to Thursday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. in the George D. English Building’s General District Court Room. County Administration advised The Journal of the change in that meeting’s location on Aug. 16, two days after the previous edition of this paper went to press.
Assistant County Administrator Karen Lewis told this reporter that the county was posting the change on its official website as well as the local government’s cable television channel. All local papers were invited to post the amended meeting date on internet webpages of their own. Private citizens on the county government’s contact list were additionally asked to spread the word to other residents.
As reported one week ago in these pages, the Westmoreland Supervisors conducted their own judicial complex public hearing on Aug. 13 and received no favorable input from local residents. When a private citizen asked for a show of hands from residents supporting the project that will cost nearly $16 million, no arms were raised acknowledging support.
The project went out for bids several months ago and the jurisdiction is poised to accept the low bid submitted by Maryland contractor W. M.Schlosser. The bid was scheduled to expire on Aug. 27 and the IDA’s initially scheduled Aug. 20 hearing would have enabled the Authority to commit to the 40-year debt service obligation before the contractor’s bid expired.
Assistant County Administrator Lewis told The Journal that Schlosser has agreed to extend the deadline for accepting the low bid into the latter part of September. The rescheduling of the IDA’s hearing on the debt service instrument secured through U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development was needed when the county’s Davenport & Company LLC required additional time to prepare the paperwork associated with acceptance of the loan. The Authority will perform the duties of administrative agent and the public hearing must be convened before the loan can be approved.
On Aug. 13 the Westmoreland Supervisors voted to borrow the least amount of money they deemed necessary to support the very major construction project. Funds held in reserve by the county government will be released in order to minimize borrowing costs. The 3.375 percent interest the county will pay over the 40-year life of that debt service obligation will nearly double the judicial center’s initial $8 million-plus construction cost.