News Release – 5/18/09

Clark Public Utilities completes sale of bonds

May 18, 2009

Clark Public Utilities has completed the sale of municipal bonds to partially fund improvements in the utility’s Electric and Generating systems.

For the Electric System, the utility sold $49.1 million in revenue bonds at an average interest cost of 4.6 percent.

The utility also sold $9.6 million in revenue bonds to fund work at the River Road Generating Plant.

“Our solid financial position allowed us to sell these bonds, which will finance needed projects in our community,” said Carol Curtis, president of the utility’s board of commissioners. “This was a very good sale given the current condition of financial markets.”

About $10.1 million will be used to refinance outstanding bonds. Curtis said the refinancing would reduce the utility’s borrowing costs by about $326,000.

In a departure from previous sales, the utility expanded the sale by selling some bonds directly to retail investors through Fidelity Investments, Seattle Northwest Securities, D. A. Davidson and Edward Jones. The balance were sold to Merrill Lynch and Barclays, which sold their allocations to institutional investors.

The bonds mature at various times over the next 20 years.

The utility borrows money to pay part of the cost of building new facilities. In that way, future customers help pay the cost of these facilities that serve them.

Municipal bonds are tax-exempt for many investors under federal tax laws.  They are sold in $5,000 increments and are available through many brokerage companies.

Clark Public Utilities is a customer-owned public utility district that provides electric service to about 182,000 customers throughout Clark County. The utility also provides water service to about 30,000 homes and businesses in the Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, Lakeshore, Hockinson, Brush Prairie, La Center, Meadow Glade, Amboy and Yacolt areas.

For more information:
Mick Shutt, 360-992-3238