Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Media Borough to borrow $5.4 Million - Public Hearing - Issuance of Debt (Thursday 12/4 7:30 Community Center Upstairs Conf Room -

On Thursday, December 4th at 7:30 pm a public hearing is scheduled to discuss, and possibly approve a provision regarding the issuance of debt to Media borough.  The debt entails securing a bond by borough council for $5.4 million  Of this amount, $1,000,000 will go towards a gift to the Media/Upper Providence Library, along with a $1,500,000 loan.  Terms of the loan have not yet been disclosed. The remaining $2.9 million will be used by borough council for items related to what they deem as "projects"

If you're hearing about all this for the first time, many taxpayers in the borough are too.  What is baffling, is why this has been kept so quiet.  For the Third Street Bridge Project, Council President Brain Hall advocated a Citizen Advisory Committee, a survey mailed to residents, a town hall meeting and years of conversation.   Borough council was ultimately found in contempt of court.   As for Wawa, he had the applicants attend dozens of meetings, yet when it comes to Media's biggest financial outlay in decades, there's been nothing close to that.

What's the cost to taxpayers to give a loan to a non-profit that we don't know the terms of? And who does that? Even people on council are questioning if it will ever be paid back!  Where were the meetings, surveys and townhall meeting for this?


I can't in the history of Media remember this borough pursuing a bond, let alone giving a $1,000,000 gift along with a $1,500,000 loan that lacks details on the terms.  Even councilman Paul Robertson questioned the finance committee, chaired by Kent Davidson on the process in which this committee gave gifts.   It's still not clear how this committee arrived at an amount of $1,000,000!  As a taxpayer, they should! Why is Media footing the bill when Upper Providence is equally involved with this library?  Why aren't the other non-profits in Media worthy of $1,000,000 or loans?

If Kent Davidson claims this won't raise taxes, then how are the paying this bond back?  Perhaps will get answers on Thursday, December 4th at 7:30pm






24 comments:

  1. I bet the left over money is going towards the increase in costs that have accumulated over the last 15 or so years to rebuild 3rd st.

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  2. Coincidence? Workshop agenda includes the following: Consider Revised Design Reimbursement Agreement with PennDot for Design of Third Street Bridge

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  3. Assuming any member of Council (or someone who knows a member of Council) sees this comment: Please ask your Solicitor to show you the section of the Pennsylvania Borough Code that authorizes a grant and/or loan to a library for the construction of a new building.

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  4. To Anon 11:29: I will certainly ask that question if I speak to someone on council. It is a good one and deserves an answer. The flip side should also be answered: please show the section where the Code specifically *doesn't* authorize this.

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  5. The Code is very explicit in what it authorizes a borough to do with tax dollars. For example, the Code allows taxes to be utilized for "... building a firehouse, fire training school and center, lockup...". But nowhere does it say taxes may be used for grants or loans to build a library. Why would the law be so explicit in one area but silent in another. I don't think they intended it so that a borough could spend tax dollars on whatever they want.

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  6. With regard to libraries, the borough may utilize taxes "To establish and maintain a local library or to maintain or aid in the maintenance of a local library established by deed, gift or testamentary provision, for the use of the residents of the borough, in accordance with 24 Pa.C.S. Ch. 93 (relating to public library code)." That doesn't seem to include a grant or loan to construct a new library. I don't see the point in borrowing money for something you can't legally do.

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  7. Did anyone see what happened in Franconia Twp. Montgomery County? 3.2 million in debt and the taxpayers had no clue.

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  8. HA! Here it is. Looks like Media's about to get whacked the same way.

    Franconia Twp. faces residents' anger on deficits

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  9. Well, in this case the community won't be surprised thanks to this blog

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  10. Media's residents are getting what they voted for. Sock it to me, Sock it to me, Sock it to me.

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  11. You're confusing debt with deficits. The news story makes clear that Franconia was running budget deficits. In other words, it didn't have enough money to pay its bills. Although Media is currently paying down debt, it has run budget surpluses for years, has put the surpluses into savings, and has kept its tax rate level at 3 mills. The announced tax rate for 2015 is 3 mills. As to commenters on the Code, I think they're misreading it. The title is, "Tax levy. Authority." It give boroughs the authority to levy a tax for "general borough purposes" not to exceed 30 mills. The Code does not specify how this tax money is to be used. This same section of the Code also gives boroughs the authority to levy ten special taxes (for pensions, shade trees, street lighting, and establishing and maintaining a local library, etc). Media is not looking to levy a special library tax. The question is whether funding support for a new library building is part of "general borough purposes." I think most municipal solicitors will tell you that it is. You can come to the meeting tonight at 7:30 and ask Media's solicitor what he thinks about this.

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    1. RE-ESTABLISH did Council misread the word RE-ESTABLISH when it came to 3rd St.?

      Now we the residents are misreading the Code. Nice one ANON 12:25 next time use your real name (Kent?), (Brian?) keep misreading those words and costing the residents money you two are the best.

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  12. It's actually nice to have a meaningful dialogue, as opposed to what happens at those meetings when residents are belittled. Of course the Solicitor will interpret it that way. You pay his bills!

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  13. I saw a letter from Paul Robinson saying he's against the the Wawa? I thought the borough was for the Wawa.

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  14. Oh yes. I see it now. That's the part that says you can spend our money on anything you want. Didn't see it the first time.

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  15. The fact that you "think most municipal solicitors will tell you" that taxpayer funds may be spent on a new library building only confirms that you don't know for sure. Things are moving awfully fast if that's the case.

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  16. Even our own Media Borough Code explicitly allows appropriations to the library for "support and maintenance", not a new building.

    § 29-3. Appropriations.

    The Council of the Borough of Media shall determine annually in its budget an appropriation out of current revenues in an amount at least equal to the amount appropriated in 1965 but not more than an amount equal to 3 mills, to be paid to said Free Library Association for its support and maintenance. 


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    1. Question----- who won the last election the Democrats or the Republicans?

      Seems the Republican candidates were for reopening 3rd st. And the Wawa. The Democrats were opposed to both. With 3rd st reopening two lanes and two ways and the Super Wawa almost here I am confused.

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    2. confused? You got it right.

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  17. Went to the meeting last night. Found out the library has a 375,000.00 budget.
    Media Boro gives the Library 100,000.00 each year. So the Library really only has 275,000.00
    Sounds like the 100,000.00 went to building upkeep according to Brian Hall.

    with a new building and no need for upkeep if Media Boro Council continues to give the Library 100,000.00 a year they will essentially be paying back the 1,500,000.00 loan with Media's own money.

    Interesting that no one mentioned what the debt service (monthly payments) would be on the loaned 1,500,000.00.

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    1. Thank you for providing this information!

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  18. It seems like there is a lot of backyard deals going on; over a BBQ pit spitted with free-range yard chickens, and what sounds like a a bunch of Margaritaville promises.

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  19. Michael Jordan, MediaDecember 5, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Also went to meeting. Under questions from audience no one had answers that didn't disclose more weakness in grant and loan to be ever paid back. No bank would ever, ever approve such a financial package. The residents are going to be on the hook for the whole deal.

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