Yucca Valley, Ca.,- The Hi-Desert Water District announced the costs for the sewer plant and individual parcel costs will be revealed at their meeting on March 26, 2014 at 6 pm held at their district office.
Jennifer Poland, Public Information Officer for the HDWD gave an update to the Yucca Valley Town Council of the progress of the sewer project and website specifically dedicated to the project.
The Town Council members took note of the date and asked for more information when the vote would go to the citizens for the sewer assessment. Poland hesitated to give any specific date or time explaining the Board of Directors would first have to approve the sewer costs and assessment costs.
Pressed again by Mayor Lombardo for a guesstimate of perhaps July or August, Poland explained the district has an outreach plan to discuss the costs with the citizens before considering placing the vote for the assessment to finance the project.
Earlier in the presentation, she explained there would be neighborhood meetings planned as part of the outreach to educate the public. Door hangers would be placed on individual homes to announce the date, time and location of the meeting of their particular neighborhood.
After a pause, Poland agreed there could be a vote in July or August on the sewer assessment to be placed on the individual parcels which will guarantee payment of $125 million dollars to the State Revolving Fund. I do not recall if there was any discussion regarding the State Revolving Fund interest rate which is currently still being negotiated from 1% to 1/2%.
At the last Public Advisory Committee meeting, HDWD General Manager Ed Muzik expanded on the State Revolving Loan information presented by the CFO of 1/2% for 30 years, by calling it a “BOND” tied into a variable interest rate. The mention of a bond did not sit very well with the PAC members who wanted more information as to whether there would be a ceiling on the interest rate increase over the life of the 30 year bond. Muzik, once again, evaded answering the questions that were asked.
All throughout the entire process of presenting the sewer project to the citizens with deadlines placed on Yucca Valley to prohibit the septic discharge…there was NEVER any mention of a State Revolving Fund loan in the form of a bond, or mention of any variable interest rate .
Who came up with the idea of bonding? When was this bond idea introduced? What are the upfront costs of bonding? What are the true costs of any bonding to the rate payers? Which bonding company will issue the bond and at what cost?
The State Revolving Loan interest rate was previously set at 2% over 30 years but due to the failure to pass Measure U, the 1% General Fund tax for 30 years that could not be legally designated, the SRF made the decision to drop the interest rate to 1% over 30 years for the amount of $125 million dollar loan, or possibly lower to 1/2%
Red flags were tossed up at the thought of a sewer financing bond and to bring that idea up at this late date really smells suspicious. I can honestly state IF there is ANY kinky financing going on looking like a typical bait and switch…the vote WILL fail.
Stay tuned! Try to arrive early to secure seating.
For more information contact>www.HDWD.com
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