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ITEC finance questions answered

July 20, 2011

Photo by Joseph Bell – Elk County Commissioner June H. Sorg, left, makes a note Tuesday morning alongside fellow commissioners Ronald T. Beimel, center, and Daniel R. Freeburg.

Officials from the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission [NCPRPDC] attended Tuesday morning's Elk County Board of Commissioners meeting to again reiterate the fact that the sale of the Industrial Technology Education Center [ITEC] to the county features no spending of county tax dollars of any kind.
"When ITEC was built in 1997 or 1998, a bond issue was taken out," said Jim Chorney, director of finances for the commission. "The bond issue was backed by Jefferson and Elk counties.
"There were a few different percentages for their portion and the building was built through the bond issue."
Since that time, bi-annual payments have been made on the building, but not by using any tax dollars whatsoever.
"The counties have not contributed any portion to that to this point," Chorney said. "Everything that has been paid for has been paid for through income-generating activities through the school.
"At the time that the school opened, it was primarily through tuition and now it's through rent income coming in right now."
Elk County Commissioner Daniel R. Freeburg reiterated the point by stating that "no local tax dollars were used to build the ITEC facility."
According to NCPRPDC executive director Eric Bridges, the original bond that was issued at the time of construction was for Elk and Jefferson counties, but "Cameron County came on about four years ago when we restructured the bond."
However, there haven't been any county taxpayer dollars on it.
"The plan was to have the counties make payments on it if the facility didn't generate the money, but that has never happened," said Elk County Commissioner June H. Sorg.
The County of Elk will be purchasing the ITEC facility with a $1.5 million price tag in addition to the construction costs, which already total at least another $1.34 million.
"The purchase by Elk County is just paying off the loan that was originally taken out, that's how we got the building," said Elk County Commissioner Ronald T. Beimel.

Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, July 20, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.

Next meeting:
Elk County Board of Commissioners
When: Tuesday, Aug. 2
Where: Courthouse Annex, Conference Room No. 2
Time: 10 a.m.

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