YMCA given approval to refinance construction bonds

LISBON –The East Liverpool Area YMCA will save about $120,000 after its request to refinance 15-year-old construction bonds was approved this week by Columbiana County commissioners.

YMCA CERO Rob O’Hara met in January with the county Community Improvement Corp. to begin the process of seeking county permission to refinance the construction bonds obtained in 2002 to build the YWCA facility in Calcutta and finance improvements to its downtown East Liverpool operations.

The project was funded with $6.5 million in tax-free government bonds issued by the state through county commissioners. The bonds came with a variable interest rate that has increased in recent years to where it was costing the YMCA more money. Obtaining new 15-year bonds at a lower fixed rate in the amount of $2.3 million is expected to save $120,000 a year on bond payments.

“It allows the YMCA to provide lower cost programming for seniors and youths in the community,” O’Hara said of the projected savings.

His comments came during the public hearing portion of the meeting, which must be held before commissioners could act on the request. No one showed up to oppose the request.

There is no financial liability for commissioners, who serve merely as facilitators in granting the YMCA the permission it needs to participate in the state bond program.

In other action at the meeting, commissioners awarded a contract for improvements to the Guilford Lake sewage treatment plant to Workman Industrial Services for $98,750. Workman’s was the lowest of the four bids received for the project, which was slightly higher than the estimated cost of $96,000 but still within what is allowed by the state.

The county is replacing the 40-year-old chlorination treatment system with an ultraviolet disinfection system, which kills nearly 100 percent of microorganisms and is cheaper to operate since chemicals will no longer be needed.