Monday, April 6th, 2009

The Morris County Improvement Authority has used the county’s AAA bond rating to help Lincoln Park save money and obtain a low interest rate on the borough’s refinancing of bond anticipation notes.

Lincoln Park utilized the Improvement Authority to refinance $22 million in bonds, most of which the borough used to fund the construction of several public facilities including a new municipal building and police headquarters, two new firehouses and a new ambulance building that were completed in 2007.

“The greatest benefit for Lincoln Park in using the Morris County Improvement Authority for refinancing was the triple-A rating that the county has,” said Kerri Geisler, borough treasurer. “Because of that rating, we were able to get a true interest rate of 4.18 percent, which is lower than if we had refinanced on our own.”

Under state law, improvement authorities have more flexibility in financing and issuing bonds. By using the Improvement Authority to finance projects such as school and municipal construction, local officials may be able to spend fewer dollars and reduce the property tax burden on their residents.

“I would be willing to estimate that the Improvement Authority saved us at least .75 percent and probably more,” Geisler said. “When you consider the size of this bond, that truly is a significant savings for Lincoln Park taxpayers.”

Morris County Freeholder William Chegwidden, liaison to the Improvement Authority, said he was pleased that Lincoln Park was able to successfully take advantage of the county agency.

“This is why the freeholders created the Improvement Authority, to help communities meet their needs while saving tax dollars,” Chegwidden said.

More information about the Morris County Improvement Authority may be obtained by calling (973) 285-6020 or by visiting the MCIA Web site, morriscountyimprovementauthority.org.