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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, January 11, 2018

NorCo's GPA and Lil' Bo Peep

Yesterday, I told you that the Northampton County's General Purpose Authority (GPA) started off the new year with a Sunshine Act violation. What the hell is the GPA? A lot of people are asking that question.

It was first established on May 6, 1999, pursuant to the Municipal Authority Act. It can do all sorts of things. This includes granting a $50,000 mortgage to a Luzerne County company called Beau's Peeps. Attorney David Lantz appears to be a principal.  I have no idea what Beau's Peeps does,or what relation this Kingston corporation has to Northampton County.

The GPA will be around until October 23, 2063. It may exercise any powers authorized by the Municipal Authority Act, but importantly, Northampton County retains the right to approve all actions.

Over the years, the GPA has acted as a conduit for the issuance of both taxable and tax exempt bonds to help finance public and private projects, mostly with hospitals and universities. It also administers the NorCo Loan and Development Fund and the Community Investment Partnership Program Revolving Loan Fund. In 2016, it became the lead agency involved in a plan to refurbish or replace 33 county-owned bridges at a cost of $38 million, with the work being done by Kriger Construction.

In 2016, the GPA had assets worth $3.18 million and liabilities of $359,000.

In its 2016 audit,
the GPA lists three loans.

One is an unsecured $50,000 loan to Rising Tide Community Loan Fund, which provides micro-financing to small businesses.

The second is a small loan to the Third Street Alliance for Women and Children, which was completely paid.

The one that has me scratching my head is that $50,000 mortgage to Kingston-based Beau's Peeps, LLC.

I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation for a loan to a Kingston business, but can find no mention of Lil' Beau's Peeps in either the 2015 or 2016 minutes.

Maybe this was all decided in executive session.

Updated 2 pm: According to courthouse records, Beau's Peeps purchased 201 Roseto Avenue, Roseto, PA on 7/21/14. This is the home of Hope Uniform Co., which makes police and firefighter uniforms. So there is a Northampton County connection.


The 2016 audit,
indicates that the $50,000 loan is secured by a mortgage, but no mortgage was ever recorded.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is it has something to do with a sheep farm and the black market wool trade.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is probably completely innocuous, but i’d Like to know why there is no reference in the minutes.

Anonymous said...

Kingston, pa? Isn’t Krueger Constrtuction from up there? Could it be a loan to someone’s family member? The banks and the financing and the contractor all from Kingston pa, what did you unearth here Bernie?

Anonymous said...

Could it be Just Borne candy distribution center in Wilkes barre area.

Anonymous said...

Don’t we have a bridge dep what are we paying them for

Anonymous said...

Where did they get the money to start a "revolving loan fund" and when did that start? County Government is now in the business of loaning money like a bank? This is ridiculous. These are my tax dollars I pay the County?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the asset to liability ratio of this government entity. Question is where or how did they amass this? I understand the mission, however, accountability seems to lack. Additionally, the board members seemed to be entrenched without controls! Bernie you did a great job at unmasking this troubling government unit, but how do you tame it or at least provide oversight? They apparently told McClure to shove it and went into an alleged executive session, thumbing their nose at him and the taxpayers!

Bernie O'Hare said...

The revolving loan fund was established in 2015 with $500,000 table games revenue to encourage economic development. It is self-replenishing. Thus the Beau's Peeps Loan is almost certainly a loan for economic development here. But I am disturbed that I saw no mention of it in the minutes, but saw it featured in the audit. I know some money was also lent to a uniform company in Bangor.

The CIPP program, includes both grants and loans, and is funded by hotel taxes.

The government has long been in the business of lending money to address different matters.

To encourage hone ownership among those with limited incomes (on the theory that ownership means that the person will have more pride in his home than a renter), DCED has a first-time homebuyer program that provides up to $5,000 to help pay closing costs. The loan is forgiven after five years if the borrower is still in the home. There are also home owner rehab loans.

These are great programs but are poorly advertised, so few except those who are aware of them take advantage.

Although Helene Whittaker is a great choice for the GPA, but I am appalled at the blatant Sunshine Act violation. I do not fault her or Langen or Schaivone for that transgression. Theur fieldis not government. But Mike Dowd is a former Council member who knows better. And a preacher for Christ's sake. Lushis is paid very good money precisely to keep these violations from occurring, but instead participated in it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Don’t we have a bridge dep what are we paying them for"

We have a very good bridge inspector. But we are lacking when it comes to bridge repair and replacement. I concede we do that poorly. I am not condemning the P3 bc it addresses that inadequacy, but I still do not fully understand it,and it is unhelpful to enshroud government business in secrecy. That raises red flags when being open would be far more helpful. .

Bernie O'Hare said...

5:12, It is probably completely innocent. I have asked Peg,and will ask Mike Dowd after yelling at ho for the Sunshine Act violation. .

Anonymous said...

Bernie
After being out of office for 25 years, this brings back memories. You see, in the early 1990's my administration started a "Revolving Loan Fund" that, I believe, was administered by the Northampton County Industrial Development Authority. That was a two million dollar program when it started. Like I said, that was 25 years ago. I wonder, whatever happened to that program and where did those monies go.
Gerald "Jerry" Seyfried

Anonymous said...

This company has one employee with total revenue $49,000.

Anonymous said...

There really booming now with two employees with the revenue of $93,300.

Anonymous said...

Well I guess it beats being a preacher for Satan's sake! Lol

gsmith said...

Let the sunshine in. Good for McClure, keep them honest, the whole thing seems strange and unaccountable.

Jeff Fox said...

Beau's Peep's has partnered with Linsman Holdings, Inc. to form NEPA Partners, LLC. Found the following information:
NEPA Partners, LLC is a joint venture of Beau's Peeps, LLC and Lisman Holdings, Inc. NEPA Partners specializes in the commercialization of products in late stage development for the retail medical, home healthcare markets and selected consumer product segments. NEPA Partners has extensive experience in manufacturing, sourcing, finance, marketing and sales.

dated 2016

NEPA Partners, LLC
1400 Sans Souci Parkway
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18706
Phone Number: 866-235-5102
Fax Number: 866-235-5102
info@nepapartners.com

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jeff, Thank you. Yes, I saw that. I am trying to understand a Norco connection. I would hope there is.

Jeff Fox said...

This was also on the site. I also found a press release from 2011 about the same product.

https://www.pr.com/press-release/305181

Our See 4 Safety Illumination Products for personal, home healthcare, and industrial safety are in the final design phase in preparation for market entry in late 2016.

Anonymous said...

Lushis has strong family ties in Luzerne County. His father in law owned a Sporting Goods store up there and was very politically connected. I remember going there as a kid.

Anonymous said...

It appears to be a fray that if pulled, before it is tied off, would show how the whole tapestry is woven.

Anonymous said...

1/11/18 6:21 am

The county bridge crew is only large enough to handle everyday maintenance of the 119 bridges. The crew has three people that oversee these structures as well as the highway lighting on most of Pa 33 and US22 ( nearly 800 lights). They do not have the capability to reconstruct a bridge or to handle large rehabs like that of the P3 project. Neither does the county own such construction equipment do complete such projects.

Anonymous said...

If my memory is correct in talking to those in the bridge office, Penndot never lived up to their obligations in the states Billion Dollar Bridge program that was established back in the early 80's. Speaking to Mr. Kohler a few months ago , he informed me at a mtg we were attending that the state was still on the books for 17 bridge replacements and they have only actually funded one in the past 6 years and actually pulled funding for 2 others that were nearly designed and ready for bid for replacement. Those 17 are all apart of the current P#, along with others that don't qualify for state or federal dollars. I don't blame the county since they have started taking some movement and expense in getting some of these structures addressed back in 2013-14 time frame with a bridge bond worth 5-7 million if I'm correct. If Penndot would have lived up to their funding obligations, most of, if not all of these bridges would have been replaced already.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, with yet another church on the run preachers involvement, just maybe when the all traveled to Haiti there were secret speeches on creating the big C blurr with the by county allocations.

Anonymous said...

Hey BO, you need to check on the latest fast one the DaVinci people tried to pull on some county council members.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Really? I don't think that is very wise. What are you hearing? I'll check.

Anonymous said...

Regarding anon 7:57, not sure but heard the Davinci people wanted a private meeting. May or may not be true source was not direct.

Anonymous said...

meeting is canceled No Private DiVinci meeting today at 12:00 in council chambers. But i dont think Lynn Erickson knows its canceled

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, I'll be there with my camera.

Jeff Fox said...

It is my understanding that Beau's Peep's had Roseto connections.

Jeff Fox said...

One who was at the GPA meeting eluded to in the post, did corroborate the narrative that a violation of the sunshine act did indeed occur. If such a violation did occur, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, such a violation should be addressed. It should be noted that there are those who violated the sunshine act who should have known better and should have advised against doing so.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jeff, I updated my post yesterday to note the roseto connection. I also was in touch with the solicitor, John Lushis,who should have known better. I think I hve figured out what is going on, but have filed RTK to make sure my facts are right.

Anonymous said...

Mr. O'Hare the wind says there was in fact a DaVinci meeting wanted by Erickson and only new council people. Some would not go and the meeting was shut down. I cannot swear to this account but the courthouse walls have ears. You should look into this.

Anonymous said...

O'Hare could always call his buddy Kraft to find out. Why attack davinice?

Bernie O'Hare said...

4:26, you are correct. The Council clerk should be reminded she works for Council, not DaVinci.

Anonymous said...

Organizations like DaVincie are very good at deception. Who knows of they tricked her into thinking the new council people wanted to meet. I don't trust any of these groups. They only care about the money.