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During stock market slump, Solebury adjusts bond timing


A stock market slump is not something people tend to smile about – unless, of course, they’re in the market to acquire some bonds.

That’s the position the Solebury supervisors found themselves in Tuesday night as they calculated borrowing $5 million in bonds for land preservation purposes.

Originally, they had planned their bond issue for July.

But these are “unprecedented times” their bond counsel, Jamie Schlesinger of PFM Financials Advisors LLC, told them and that by moving up their planned purchase from July to April, they could save $20,000 to $50,000.

“...With the dramatic decline in the stock market lately, there has been the usual ‘flight to quality’ into bonds, and a resultant plunge in interest rates,” said Chair Mark Baum Baicker. “This also passes through to the debt market in the form of a potentially significant drop in the interest rate we will pay on this new debt...”

Schlesinger estimated the interest rate for the township at about 1.5 percent and the board authorized him to proceed with the April purchase date.

In other business, the board appointed three members to the newly formed Library Task Force that will focus on structural issues at the Free Library of New Hope and Solebury and determine what should be incorporated into a written agreement between the township and the library.

The new members are Dennis Mankin, who was a supervisor from 2007 to 2009; Katherine L. Reiss, a former member of the library board; and C.L. Lindsay III. They join Supervisors Robert McEwan and Noel Barrett on the library board.

In a second library matter, the board authorized its solicitor, Mark Freed, to draft a library funding agreement that will be negotiated with the library and will also clarify procedures.

The supervisors had rejected a library request for a $50,000 increase in the township’s 2020 contribution, keeping the contribution at $120,000 in its 2020 budget.

The board also accepted two properties into its Land Preservation Program. They are a 50-acre property on Greenhill Road and a 43-acre property on Pidcock Creek Road.

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