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Auburn, Calif – The Placer County Water Agency will refinance $35 million in existing debt under a new fixed rate repayment plan approved Thursday (Mar. 20) by the PCWA Board of Directors.

The agency’s Director of Financial Services, Joseph Parker, explained the move from auction rate securities to a fixed rate repayment structure is following the credit market downturn that lowered the rating of its bond insurer, XL Capital Assurance, in January. Parker said the water agency has paid an average of 3.3 percent interest over the past three years, but the current variable rate has increased to over 5 percent with the downgrading. Since January, he and the agency’s financial advisors have been working on debt structure alternatives and with the agency’s underlying AA- credit rating they expect a fixed rate less than 5 percent when the new certificates are issued in late April.

The refinancing was approved on two unanimous votes. Directors convened and voted first as the board of the PCWA Public Facilities Corporation and then also approved the plan as the PCWA Board of Directors.

In other business, directors:

  • agreed to join Motherlode Energy Watch, a voluntary energy efficiency program sponsored by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Agency officials are hopeful the program will help identify opportunities to save energy. Motherlode Energy Watch serves the area from Sierra County to Calaveras County.
  • heard a presentation from Director of Customer Services John Kingsbury and Director of Technical Services Brian Martin on water use and demand patterns within the agency’s service areas. The agency is developing more data on use patterns to better understand issues ranging from water conservation to infrastructure planning.
  • welcomed Tom Quinn, new Forest Supervisor for the Tahoe National Forest, based in Nevada City. Quinn, who succeeds the retiring Steve Eubanks, arrived in the area last month after five years as supervisor of the Stanislaus National Forest. He was introduced by Jan Cutts, who works closely with the water agency as district ranger for the American River District.
  • heard an announcement from General Manager David Breninger who said a public unveiling of the American River restoration and PCWA Pump Station project would take place at the 17th annual American River Confluence Festival, June 8. The event is hosted and held annually by Protect American River Canyons’ community organization with PCWA as a co-sponsor this year.

PCWA board meetings are open to the public.

Information on PCWA board meetings is available through the Clerk to the Board at (530) 823-4850.

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