From the Centre Daily Times – State College, PA (July 9, 2000)
by Stephenie Steitzer
Pittsburgh, PA (July 9, 2000) — The borough of State College, Pennsylvania is jumping on the Internet ship in an effort to stay afloat in today’s fast-paced electronic world.
On Monday afternoon, borough council will accept bids via the Internet for the sale of bonds to pay for the new municipal building.
“I think there’s just no way to put off stepping into that electronic ocean of opportunity,” said council member Jean McManis, who said she recently purchased a Dell laptop computer to keep up with other council members.
From 11:30 a.m. to noon Monday, the borough’s financial adviser will be online at www.muniauction.com to accept bids for the sale of $8 million worth of bonds to pay for the construction of the three-story building in the 200 block of South Allen Street.
Council will then hold a special meeting at 4 p.m. to authorize the sale of the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2000, to the highest bidder.
Michael Groff, borough finance director, said the advantage of Internet bidding is that it allows for people to bid against each other, rather than just submit sealed bids. Groff and McManis said they believe doing so will lead to lower interest rates for the payback over the next 25 years.
“We think this will be a very positive bid for the borough and taxpayers because it’s just a more competitive environment,” he said.
The total projected cost of the building is about $10.2 million, which includes construction, landscaping, furnishing and soil, concrete and welding testing. In May, council awarded bids totaling $8.38 million to the following firms:
- General Contractor: Leonard S. Fiore Inc., $6.08 million
- Plumbing: D.C. Goodman & Sons Inc., $511,130
- Mechanical: Maddens Inc., $868,300
- Electrical: Stelco Inc., $924,450
Council member Tom Daubert said the borough has the remaining money to pay for the building in savings.
Although the borough has some other outstanding debts in the general funds in the $1 million range and some others in the parking authority for several million that at most, taxpayers might see an $8-to-$10 increase in property taxes.
“I would expect it won’t affect taxes at all,” said Daubert, adding that the borough has a borrowing limit of about $40 million. “If it does, it will be very minimal.”
Daubert said that demolition at the building site is complete and that construction of the building is scheduled to start July 17. The projected completion date is October 2001.