1/6/2023 11:39:00 AM Water & Light: sale proceeds to go into debt escrow
Four of the five Water & Light Commissioners met to proceed on action tied to the pending electric assets sale to ECE. Commission member James Baxter was absent.
The sale price is announced as $5.3 million. Sale proceeds will go into an escrow account with US Bank and be held until call dates arrive for existing debt owed by the utility. The soonest that the bond debt can be paid off is May 2023. In the meantime US Bank will make principal and interest payments due.
There was no number given the utility commissioners last week as the total yet to be paid off; but the original bonds sold in 2016 and 2017 came to a little over $5 million.
The closing of sale of the water and light electric distribution assets is potentially expected in February, according to North Branch’s Utility Chair Nathan Keech.
The state Public Utilities Commission has approved the electric service territory boundary adjustment needed to allow East Central Energy to absorb North Branch’s 2,000-plus customers. (Press story Dec. 22).
In other business, the four commissioners approved buying a one-ton Ford truck for providing service to the water division. The vehicle is provided through a state bid program through North Central Ford and the Anderson & Koch, local dealership. The truck was in the Capital Improvement Program long range budget for 2022 at $60,000 but manager Shawn Williams reports the price now is $87,782.
Staff assured the commissioners they are “comfortable” the budget can cover the extra and the 2023 F-350 with crane and plow, truck was okayed.
Williams said the last work truck bought was in 2007.