Paul Dixon

Cara Host/For the Almanac

Abby Kovach, right, delivers a speech in honor of her father, Bethel Park Councilman Paul Dixon, left, at the council meeting Dec. 9. It was Dixon’s last council meeting after choosing not to seek re-election this year.

Bethel Park made a $320,000 windfall from refinancing old debt and now it hopes to do it again.

Municipal council agreed at its meeting Dec. 9 to refinance about $7.7 million in bonds Bethel Park Municipal Authority floated a few years ago to pay for various sewer system upgrades.

In September, the board agreed to refinance $12.3 million of 2015 bonds that were used to pay for the new public works building. That deal recently closed and the municipality made $320,000, which will be used for various capital projects.

Council members hope to make at least $100,000 through this refinancing and that money will also be used for capital improvements.

Council also paid tribute to longtime Councilman Paul Dixon, who opted not to seek re-election this year. Dixon served on council for 20 years and prior to that, served on the municipality’s planning commission. Council President Tim Moury presented his colleague with a plaque to honor his years of service and members of Dixon’s family were invited to participate.

“People on the outside don’t understand what it takes to be an elected official,” said fellow Councilman Jim Hannan. “You made us a better group.”

Moury recalled the time when Dixon was first elected to council in the late 1990s, a time when council meetings were often peppered with frequent arguments and in-fighting. Moury was already a councilman and in fact voted against Dixon’s reappointment to the planning commission. Moury expected some hostility when Dixon was elected to council, but was pleasantly surprised.

“It was a tumultuous atmosphere when I came on board, but I think we pulled together and fixed that,” Dixon said. “We became one cohesive unit that worked together for the betterment of the community.”

Dixon, who was the councilman in Ward 4, will be replaced by Todd Cenci, who won election last month.

Council also approved an increase to Tri-Community South’s subscription fees for ambulance services. Businesses will now pay $100-$500 annually, depending on the size of the business. Residential subscribers will pay $70 a year. Those who choose to purchase a subscription will support the ambulance service as well as receive a 50% discount on out-of-pocket expenses if an ambulance is ever needed.

Bethel Park residents are invited to have a cup of coffee or milk and a chat with a municipal police officer Jan. 3. The event, Talk with a BP Cop, is part of Law Enforcement Appreciation Month and will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 3 at Reginald’s Coffee Shop in the historic schoolhouse on South Park Road. Councilman Joe Consolmagno also reminds residents to shine a blue light outside their homes to show their appreciation for police officers.