Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Article By: Nate Jastrzemski

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 by Nate Jastrzemski in Local News

The district’s facilities officer, Mark Stein, reported at the Aug. 8 meeting that the Nitschmann MS project is on schedule and on budget, with plumbing, ductwork, brick and structural steel now being added to the foundation.

And while Stein was discussing the use of tens of millions of dollars on a new building, CFO Stacy Gober had good financial news.

Gober said negotiations with Moody’s recently have resulted in a bond rating improvement, which now sets confidence in the BASD above that of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She said she was asked many questions about how the district weathered the budget stalemate and she said she was happy to reply that the administration had managed to contain all the anxiety to themselves and keep the district running.

“We’re way above the commonwealth on our own merits,” she said.

Gober said the district’s financial health and the reissuing of bonds on ongoing projects with better terms has recently saved about $3 million, which will be redistributed for programs and academics.

Board members also heard a presentation from city administrators about a new LERTA tax incentive zone proposed in the neighborhood between Main and Broad streets and Liberty HS. The proposal has been discussed by city council for weeks, and many believe it will provide an additional means of incentivizing home improvements in the area, thus increasing property values and taxes over the next decade.

As one of three taxing bodies – along with the city and Northampton County – the school district’s agreement to allow the LERTA will make its implementation much easier.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at East Hills MS.