Pocopson supervisors address Barnard loan questions

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Statement says no open space taxes will be used to pay for building renovation

By Kelli Siehl, Staff Writer, UnionvilleTimes.com

The Barnard House, slated to become the new Pocopson municipal building, but questions remains about how to finance the renovation of the 180-year-old building.

POCOPSON — Township Supervisors opened last night’s meeting with Supervisors’ Chair, Steve Conary addressing residents’ concerns over the proposed use of excess open space funding to renovate the historic Barnard House.

Reading from a prepared statement, Conary gave a brief history and time line associated with the open space referendum, funds borrowed and why there is an excess of one million dollars available today. He clarified, “no open space tax revenues would be used to pay off any portion of a loan” slated for the re-purposing of the Barnard House.

Instead, if the board elects to proceed with renovations after realistic costs are known, a portion of the unused open space loan would be reclassified “as a general fund loan.” Conary noted that this would allow the township to “take advantage of the existing low (2.7%) interest rate, avoid significant pre-payment penalties and avoid new loan application and processing fees.”

Discussions are currently underway with Delaware Valley Regional Finance Authority, the township’s lender, to determine the lowest cost option for the township as these choices, including the reclassification of funds to renovate the Barnard House, are considered.

Conary stressed that the township has no plan to spend one million dollars on the Barnard House and “recent efforts have focused on ways to reduce the costs to the minimum necessary to make the building usable.”

Although the statement explains that work has already been completed to correct structural issues, more is still needed “to keep the 180 plus year old historical building from deteriorating.”

Conary stated that once the costs are clear, the board will make a choice under the “applicable provisions of the Pennsylvania Second Class Township Code.”

To view the statement in its entirety, click here.

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