March 17, 2011
A new plan that could help bring Chelan County PUD debt down about 171-million dollars was presented to Commissioners at the Monday meeting. Treasurer Debbie Litchfield presented a financial plan that proposes refinancing a portion of existing debt and changing swap transactions that would drop overall debt about $39 million lower than previously forecast.
At last year’s close the PUD total outstanding debt was over a billion dollars.The proposed refinancing plan is expected to bring that number down to about $868 million in 2015. Additional steps being considered by Litchfield could take another $42 million off the debt total in 2011, which would further reduce the balance in 2015.
Litchfield showed commissioners how refinancing about $200 million in bonds could bring substantial savings for the PUD by amortizing payments over a shorter period at a better interest rate. . . (CLICK ICON FOR AUDIO)
The PUD’s financial staff will be meeting next week with bond rating agencies in San Francisco and New York to explain the plans. The expectation is that the existing double-AA bond ratings from all three agencies for the PUD will remain in place or be upgraded.