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Brentwood looks forward to makeover

| Thursday, March 15, 2007

Brentwood officials are preparing for $8 million worth of capital improvements.

"I'm looking forward to developing something good in the borough, and we're in desperate need of several capital improvements like a new salt dome, road restructure, sewer repair and a new stadium," Brentwood council President Mary Dytko said.

The projects will be financed with a $4 million loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, or PENNVEST, and a $4 million bond issue. Dytko said borough officials won't have to raise taxes to pay off the debt.

The bonds have a set interest rate of 4.16 percent for 20 years. One of the projects that money will pay for is construction of an igloo-style salt dome to replace the 27-year-old building that sits at the end of Park Drive, near the entrance to Brentwood Park.

"The building is old, and we need a new one," Dytko said.

In addition the salt storage house, the bonds will help the borough replace or update the football stadium in Brentwood Park, replace a wall at the borough building and put in a third soccer field.

"Hopefully, we can redo the (football) field and eliminate some of the congestion and foot traffic on the field (from people going to other parts of the park)," council Vice President Jay Lieb said.

Plans for other projects using the bond money are incomplete, Dytko said.

Brentwood Mayor Ken Lockhart said he opposed the idea of the bond issue because of a lack of information about how the $4 million would be used.

"There were no concrete dollar amounts on each project," Lockhart said. "You never know what's going to happen down the line, and council is tying up the borough for 20 years."

Former Brentwood Councilman Dave Wenzel said council members have not given residents enough information about how the bond money will be used.

"You borrowed the money and thought up the project," Wenzel said.

Dytko said the borough "could not get money of this nature without documentation."

The PENNVEST loan will be used to repair and line the majority of Brentwood's sewers and for road work. Council members have not yet determined which roads will be repaired.

Borough engineer Justin Wagner said the loan, which has an interest rate of 1.27 percent, has a closing date set for March 29. After that time, the loan goes to Harrisburg for a 20-day review by the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

Council members know the borough's roads need work, but they haven't determined yet which roads will be repaired.

"We're going to rebuild the roads from the ground up because we're in dire need of road repair," Dytko said.

No time line has been established for the capital improvement projects, Wagner said.

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