September 2, 2015
By John Best
Pen Argyl Borough officials are investigating options to pay for a proposed fire station on South Main Street near Weona Park for its firefighters.
Initial estimates are $4.2 million for the would-be new home for the Lookout Fire Co. Borough council voted Tuesday to ask Concord Public Finance to shop for financing plans to cover $ 3 million of the needed construction costs.
The borough was awarded a $500,000 Monroe County gaming grant for the project and it would also seek $400,000 from a state Volunteer Loan Assistance Program that provides loans at a fixed 2 percent interest rate to volunteer fire, ambulance and rescue companies for the acquisition, rehabilitation or improvement of apparatus, facilities and equipment.
Before the vote to seek financing, Councilman Dean Minnich expressed concern about the price tag and Councilman David DePalma said he wouldn’t be comfortable without having more defined costs in the plans.
Borough Manager Robin Zmoda told council that the borough must often use estimates when planning financially.
“If you want to break ground next spring, you need to get the financing,” Zmoda said.
Council President Michael Nasatka said he appreciated the council members’ concerns about the plans, but by investigating the financing, the borough won’t necessarily be locked into moving forward with the project as it is currently proposed.
“If Concord comes back and it’s not financially doable, then it’s not financially doable,” Nasatka said.
DePalma voted against seeking the financing with council members Nasatka, Minnich, Robert O’Donnell, Angelo Uliana and Joseph LeDonne voting in favor. Council members Jan Surotchak and Roberta Cowley were not present.
Council elected LeDonne earlier that night to fill the late Councilman Ralph Behler’s seat.
Behler died in August at the age of 63. LeDonne will serve on the council until January when whomever is elected in the Nov. 3 general election will take the seat.
John Best is a freelance writer. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.