A decision to take advantage of current low interest rates to refinance Cranberry’s debts has paid off.
At Thursday’s board of supervisors meeting, Michael Zubasic, a bond adviser with PNC Capital, said the township would save about $3.4 million after refinancing two sets of bonds totaling $28 million. The bonds originally were used to expand the sewage treatment plant in 2001 and for construction of the Cranberry Highlands Golf Course in 2006.
Township manager Jerry Andree said officials typically look at refinancing when there’s a chance of saving 2 percent or more on the debt amount. By refinancing the bonds this week, the township will save about 10.4 percent.
“We’re very fortunate,” Andree said. “We hit the market at the right time.”
Andree credited the township’s strong bond rating --Moody’s Investor Services recently reconfirmed it at Aa2 -- with attracting bond investors. An Aa2 assignment allows the township to borrow money at the lowest possible interest rate.
The township also will take out a $10 million loan to upgrade the sewer and water lines and to expand public safety facilities. Half of the $10 million would go toward the sewer and water line upgrades. The other $5 million would be used for new training facilities and classrooms for the Park Station, one of two fire stations in Cranberry. The other is on Haine School Road.
The money also will be used to add room at the fire station for Cranberry’s Emergency Medical Services and to add classrooms and meeting rooms to empty space inside the municipal building that once housed Cranberry’s police department. The space now is used for storage.
The capital improvement projects would take place over the next three years. Andree said construction on the sewer lines could begin early next year.