P-T rec panel considers lump-sum payment to save on interest

| Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission would save more than $5,100 in interest payments if board members decide to make a $10,000 lump-payment on the loan principal for the parking lot at the PTARC/Shelley Proskin Recreation Center.

Board members might consider making the one-time payment as soon as their next meeting, which has been rescheduled to Dec. 9 at 4 p.m.

The commission has about $60,600 in principal remaining on the 15-year loan that started about three years ago. A bulk payment would help reduce the principal, but PTARC's monthly payments still would be about $522.

A Manor Bank representative told PTARC director Cheryl Kemerer that the organization would save $5,157 in interest.

As of Oct. 31, PTARC had about $64,100 in its general account, but the rec agency still will have to make about $8,600 in insurance payments before the end of the year, Kemerer said. Board members also anticipate having to pay Kemerer and her assistant performance bonuses early next year.

PTARC board member Nick Petrucci suggested the lump-sum payment during the board's October meeting because the organization's fund balance has improved.

The loan repayment generally accounts for the difference between expenses and revenues associated with the rec center. To date, building rentals generated $8,417 in revenue, but it has cost PTARC $13,616 to maintain the building.

Of the expenses, $5,226 is from the first 10 parking-lot loan payments this year.

Grant program

The Friends of PTARC will offer a grant program to restore or create new recreation areas in the Penn-Trafford School District for the third time next year.

Funding will be available for as much as 25 percent of a project's cost, up to a maximum grant of $10,000.

One change is that municipal officials who want to use a Friends of PTARC grant to match a state grant will be required to receive approval from the state within a year to receive the local money.

That stipulation follows the March 2013 awarding of a $5,000 Friends grant to the Trafford Recreation Board for a possible reconfiguration project at Fairmont Park. Trafford Council decided to apply for a state grant for Westmoreland Park rather than commit to a project at Fairmont.

“(Group members) don't want their money tied up indiscriminately for years and years and years,” Kemerer said.

The grant deadline is Feb. 15.

DCNR grant

Penn Township officials received an extension until the spring to complete walking trails and parking-lot paving for the expansion project at Municipal Park, Kemerer said. Rainy weather delayed some of the work that the township's public-works crew intended to finish before the end of the year to meet a state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources deadline, she said.

In recent weeks, employees planted about 100 trees and shrubs to create a buffer requested by residents of the nearby Deerfield Estates housing plan. Other aspects of the project include the opening of the new dog park last spring and pond enlargement.

2014 meetings

Board members voted to have most of their 2014 meetings on the first Monday of the month at 4 p.m. The exceptions are January, September and December, when the board meets on the second Monday. No meeting is scheduled in July.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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