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Milford expects fixed interest rate to save $200,000


A lower fixed interest rate could amount to as much as $200,000 in payment savings for Milford Township taxpayers.

At a regular business meeting Tuesday night, Oct. 2, the Milford Township Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to authorize a general obligation bond issue at a fixed rate to replace about $5 million in funding borrowed in 2016 for open space.

While the bond issue would not be completed until Oct. 3, Jamie Schlesinger, director of PFM Financial Advisors, LLC in Malvern, said the new package would be a benefit to the township.

“Our fixed [estimated] interest rate would be about 3.3 percent. Your variable rate of interest, which would go into effect could be as high as 6.5 percent,” Schlesinger said.

The loan repayment schedule would not change, but payments would be “stabilized” at $345,000 per year. With the variable rate set to go into effect, your payments could have gone to about a half million dollars,” he said.

Milford has the highest bond rating of its municipal neighbors at an AA+ rating, which means the township can borrow without insurance for its loans.

In other news:

Supervisors voted to send a letter to residents of Doerr Road about closing access to the north portion from Route 663 because of expanding and widening improvements to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension.

At the Aug. 7 meeting representatives for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission unveiled plans to create a cul-de-sac and requesting supervisors close Doerr Road to through traffic.

The overall project creates six lanes from Lansdale to the Lehigh Valley interchanges, replaces six bridges, increases speed limits to 70 mph, creates an inside breakdown lane and widens shoulders in both directions. Work is expected to complete by 2021.

Township Manager Jeff Vey read the letter, which will be sent to residents, at a regular business meeting Tuesday night.

The letter responded to major concerns voiced by residents in August:

- The Turnpike Commission would be responsible to residents for property value loss in accordance with their established policies.

- Doerr Road does not have the requirements or meet the “warrants” for installing sound barriers consistent with those already used by the Turnpike Commission.

- Groundwater quality testing would be done by the township using three volunteer property owners near the site work before, during and after construction and for at least a period of three years after construction.

- Emergency vehicle access was being explored to serve residents in the event of extreme weather or disaster.

No timeline was released for when Doerr Road would be closed.

Residents are urged to check their properties carefully for spotted lanternfly egg masses on rocks, under tree limbs, on trees, and any other surfaces. If discovered, scrape the masses and submerge them in rubbing alcohol before disposal.

“Removing and destroying even one egg mass, means destroying 50-100 of these invasive insects,” said Supervisor Tom Courduff.

For more information visit the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture website