Finance Board looks favorably on $70M bond application for Rowan-Osteopathic

TRENTON – The Local Finance Board recommended approval on Wednesday for $70 million in bonds in connection with the higher-education reorganization.

The board OK’d an application by the Camden County Improvement Authority regarding lease revenue bonds to help with the part of the massive restructuring that calls for the School of Osteopathic Medicine to be absorbed by Rowan University.

The debt of Osteopathic has to be assumed by Rowan, authority officials told the board.

It is a “monumental piece of the restructuring,’’ bond counsel Philip Norcross told the board.

As part of the statewide higher-education restructuring, Rowan in Glassboro will take on Osteopathic as part of its effort to be transformed into a major university and help boost the Southern New Jersey region academically and economically.

In other business:

*The board OK’d a cap waiver request of $350,715 for Rockaway Borough to help cover a deficit for one year.

The problem, according to local officials, arose in part out of poor recordkeeping by prior officials.  “We were dismayed to find the situation we did,’’ said auditor Kathryn Mantell.

Board Chairman Thomas Neff mentioned that in light of the fact the town is looking at a 10 percent tax rate increase, how could 2 percent raises for certain personnel be justified. He questioned whether they couldn’t approve a $300,000 cap waiver and have the town officials go back and find a way to make up the rest of the money some other way.

Marie Goble, who is acting as a mentor and chief finance officer to guide the town through this period, said these personnel had not had raises in quite a few years.

“We beg your indulgence of one year.  We are at your mercy,’’ she said.

The board recommended approval, but Neff issued a warning they should not expect the same next year.

Finance Board looks favorably on $70M bond application for Rowan-Osteopathic