York City Council approves $3 million in borrowing

Jason Addy

Among the first items on York City Council's agenda for 2017 was the approval of an agreement to borrow up to $3 million.

The council authorized the potential seven-figure loan from Fulton Bank on Tuesday to ensure the city has enough funds to cover expenses throughout the year until city tax revenues can be collected, Council President Michael Helfrich said.

York City

The city will pay Fulton Bank a $10,000 fee for the loan, plus 2 percent interest on any amount borrowed in 2017, Helfrich said. The loan is a common practice for the city, with the understanding the money for repayment will be collected from taxes later in the year, Helfrich said.

Helfrich thanked York City Business Administrator Michael Doweary for leading the effort to lower the amount borrowed by nearly half over last year's loan. In 2014 and 2015, the city paid an average of $52,000 in interest and fees on the tax revenue anticipation notes, while the city paid about $30,000 in 2016, Doweary said.

The city expects to pay no more than $22,000 in interest in fees on their 2017 loan, he said.

In other business, nine people were appointed by the council to various volunteer boards in the city.

  • Pam Zerba, York City General Authority.
  • Tim Fulton, York City General Authority.
  • Kim Lentz, York City General Authority.
  • W. Craig Zumbrun, Historical Architectural Review Board.
  • Mark Skehan, Historical Architectural Review Board.
  • Justine Landis, Historical Architectural Review Board.
  • Louis Rivera, York City Planning Commission.
  • Eric Menzer, Downtown Inc.
  • Carolyn Van Newkirk, Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority.

Newly appointed volunteer board members take their oaths of office in York City Council Chambers, Jan. 3, 2017. From left: Mark Skehan, Kim Lentz, Louis Rivera and W. Craig Zumbrun.

The council has had a difficult time filling vacancies on city boards for years, with volunteers few and far-between for positions that require only several hours of work each month. For example, an August 2016 planning commission meeting was cancelled when only two of seven members showed up.

York City struggles to fill volunteer boards

Many of the volunteer board positions require little to no experience. The only requirements are that volunteer board members live in the city and have an interest in helping to govern.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering on one of the city's four boards should send a resume to Shilvosky Buffaloe, the city's interim director of economic and community development, at sbuffaloe@yorkcity.org.

The council also introduced an ordinance Tuesday to lower the 2017 sewer rate increase by 5 cents. Instead of the 4.6 percent increase approved by the York City Council on Dec. 6, which set the rate at $9.15 per 1,000 gallons, residents would see their 2017 sewer fees rise by 4.1 percent, or $9.10 for every 1,000 gallons of water used, if the council approves the ordinance Jan. 17.

York City lowers 2017 sewer-rate increase

Helfrich also noted that the council has yet to receive any applications for the vacant York City Controller's Office and reminded interested residents to submit a resume and letter of interest to York City Clerk Dianna Thompson-Mitchell by noon Wednesday, Jan. 11.

York City looking to fill controller vacancy

Former York City Controller Robert Lambert left the position at the end of 2016 to focus on his role as president of the York County Library System. Lambert, who served as controller since 2008, took over the library system last summer.