Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bonds, Luzerne County bonds

Bond issue nets county $72.3 M

County closes on $87M+ bond deal

I know that you have to borrow money to pay for things you can't pay for today (house, car, appliances) but will be able to pay off in a reasonable period of time and government has to do the same thing. The trick is not to get in over your head and don't borrow for things you want instead of what you need. That's why I have a problem with this latest bond issue. The last time I checked Luzerne County was on the hook for over $300 million in principle and interest payments over the next 20 years. Remember that a bond is only a loan against future taxes. The list of projects in the TL doesn't have many details on what the money will spent on and the Luzerne County Commissioners in the past have had a bad habit of borrowing money for one purpose and spending it on another. Shall I remind you of one thing that is in the news:

In 2003 $9 million was borrowed to build a new for a new county-owned juvenile detention facility. It was never built because the Bond Brothers (Skrep and Vondy) decided to sign a 20 year $58 million lease with a private company, PA Child Care, that was owned by a business partner of a couple of local judges. Instead of returning the money or holding on to it to deal with a future emergency that eventually came they spent it on other projects.

3 comments:

Coal Region Voice said...

I wonder who got to underwrite the bond insurance? Did anyone see the lady on WNEP at an informal hearing on the assesment of her property in Shavertown?

Danny Bauder said...

I appreciate the 007 reference.

Dana said...

The county didn't spend the money in the manner they said? You mean, they lied to you?

Shocking!