WILKES-BARRE — Luzerne County commissioners approved a plan Wednesday to restructure up to $110 million in debt, claiming it will help balance this year’s budget and allow them to propose a balanced budget for next year...This year’s budget deficit was projected at $9 million and now should be erased by $7 million obtained from debt refinancing and other expected savings. The refinancing deal also gives the county an extra $5.3 million next year.
The kicker is the taxpayers are on the hook for higher debt repayment in the future. If I had any faith that they would hold the line on spending I might go for it but everybody has their hand out. In an election year it will be hard to say no.
County requested to contribute $9.4M Money would go toward 18 tasks, including Kirby Center, Osterhout Library, Lands at Hillside Farms capital projects
The Osterhout Free Library wants $300,000
The Lands at Hillside Farms wants $609,912
Butler Township officials want $1.5 million
The Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce wants $500,000
Plymouth wants $350,000
Wilkes-Barre wants $1.2 million
And so on.
You can argue the merits of each project mentioned but the county just doesn't have the money to fund them all without cooking the books and creating even more debt. The politics of it is Skrep is running for reelection and Vondy is leaving for a job with the Chamber of Commerce. Steve Urban is living up to his reputation as Dr. No and will probably be proven right. Don't forget that Luzerne County will have to build a new prison soon to the tune of $70 million or more that will require borrowing more money. Why our society insists on locking up so many people is another subject.
27 minutes ago