April 11, 2013
Port of Douglas Achieves Refinancing Savings
Contact: Lisa Parks, Port of Douglas County executive director, (509) 884‐4700, email@example.com
Port takes advantage of historically low interest rates.
$192,000 in debt payment reductions over 10 year life of bond issue.
East Wenatchee, WA –The Port of Douglas County took advantage of historically low interest rates in the municipal bond market and completed the refinancing of its 2003 Lease Revenue Bonds. These original bonds were used to finance the construction of the U.S. Forest Service CWICC facility (Central Washington Interagency Communications Center) located at Pangborn Memorial Airport. This facility serves two main functions: in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, it is the fire dispatch center for Central Washington, providing protection to approximately 7.2 million acres, as well as being the base for the USFS Wenatchee Valley Rappellers, a wildfire initial attach and large fire support crew.
The refinancing will reduce debt repayment costs by approximately $192,000 over ten years. Working with Martin Nelson and Company, the Port was able to replace the 7.00% average interest rate currently paid on its outstanding 2003 debt with a new rate of 3.50%.
In addition to the new low interest rate, the Port achieved its debt recapitalization without the use of a credit rating.
“We continue to seek ways to be efficient stewards of Port funds” said Port Commissioner President Jim Huffman. “We know our residents are concerned about the economy and we felt these cost reduction efforts were important. The Port chose to enter the bond market now so we could improve our leasing performance while interest rates are still at generational lows”.
The refinancing opportunity surfaced in 2011, but it did not become optimized until this year.
“We felt that the timing was right and wanted to complete the project before any savings eroded from an increase in interest rates or as the years moved on and debt was retired without a refinancing. Since we began looking at finding ways to refinance this debt in 2011, the savings now achieved represent the most we have seen since we began structuring the project” said Executive Director, Lisa Parks.