EID OK’s $16M in bonds
Charlotte Sanchez-Kosa, Mt Democrat, June 25, 2012The El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors gave the OK on June 11 to staff to refinance $16 million in bonds that in the long run could save ratepayers quite a bit of money.
According to EID General Manager Jim Abercrombie, in 2010, the board invested over $300 million on infrastructure to fix treatment plants, the hydroelectric project and other projects including flumes. Over the years EID counted on hookup fees to pay the debt service costs but with the onset of the recession those hookup fees all but disappeared, leaving EID to wonder how to compensate for the loss.
“In the last two or three years, we cut our costs by about $4 million,” he said. “We increased revenue with PG&E for about $4 million and lastly we had to increase rates to pay the debt for the projects that are in the ground. That's the biggest issue.”
He said following a cost of service study there were a number of different proposals created to help allocate the costs.
“As we were preparing the budget for 2012, back in September of 2011, one of the thoughts was that we wanted to slowly phase in the rate increases to pay for the debt instead of having another episode of a big rate shock — so how do we do that?” Abercrombie asked. “The proposals were shared with the board on Sept. 26 and the proposal is exactly what we did Monday.”
He added the ...