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Solebury slates meeting on library funding


The Solebury Township supervisors will hold a 6 p.m. Jan. 14 meeting to allow the community to express its views on the level of funding the township should earmark for the Free Library of New Hope and Solebury.

The meeting will be held at New Hope-Solebury High School.

“And because everyone who wants to express an opinion may not be able to make it that night, we are investigating the possibility of conducting a survey by mail,” Supervisor Chair Mark Baum Baicker told the Nov. 19 meeting for the board of supervisors.

Those interested in participating in the survey, and are not already signed up for township emails, should go to and click on “email signups,” he said.

The library issue arose earlier this month when the supervisors did not increase the current library funding level of $120,000 for the 2020 budget. The library had requested an additional $50,000 for next year.

Supervisor John Francis said “it’s all about the quantity” of funding “rather than whether” there will be funding. The board needs “constructive” comments, he noted.

The board also agreed to conduct a $14,000 study by Uhl & Associates Inc. on the Aquetong aquifer in the Route 202-Logan Square area.

In light of future development along the corridor, the aim is to understand the aquifer levels, recharge and trends, compared to data from past studies so overdevelopment mistakes can be avoided.

Baum Baicker said, “We don’t want to be like Groucho Marx who asked (a petitioner), ‘can’t I buy back my introduction to you?’ “

In other matters, the board was gratified by news it received Nov. 18 that Moody’s Investor Services has upgraded its rating on the township’s debt, from Aa2 to Aa1, Baum Baicker said.

“What this means for us,” he said, “is that on the current refinancing and new borrowing – which totals upwards of $7 million – as well as future borrowing, the township should be paying a lower interest rate and thus saving thousands of dollars over the coming years.

“This is great news and is a testament to the work of Dennis Carney, our township manager, and Michele Blood, our treasurer and finance director and assistant township manager and all-round good person.”

The rating applies to the township’s next series of general obligation bonds as well as all outstanding debt. The Aa1 rating indicates a high quality investment subject to very low risk, according to Moody’s.

The agency took note of Solebury’s focus on the preservation of open space as a key factor in maintaining the stability of the tax base in current and future years. Analysts also pointed to the administration’s actions to increase reserve funds as another strong factor in fiscal stability.

In other matters, the board unanimously approved another one-year contract for Township Manager Carney which calls for a 4 percent raise, bringing his salary to $156,000.

The supervisors also gave conditional approval for David and Kira Barrett of 3290 Creamery Road to install solar panels on their property.