“Budget ready for LUS project”

Blanchard over at the Advocate runs a story on the budget for LUS’ new telecommunications division—the division that will be responsible for the LUS Fiber project. The budget ordinance will be introduced this coming Tuesday and, if the usual pattern holds true, voted on at the following meeting.

The budget anticipates committing 80 million of the 110.4 million of the money yielded by the bond sales. Because contracts arranged this year will go on this years budget the major part of the money will be committed even though it might not be actually “spent” for several years. Among the interesting details from the story:

It includes more than $20 million for the buildings, electronic equipment, computers and software that will be required at the “head-end,” that will serve as the technical operations center for the new network…

The budget also includes $2.9 million for set top boxes that will be in customers’ homes and $12 million for the boxes that will be placed on the outside of customers’ buildings.

Those are numbers to tuck away—they represent the major technological committments of the system, not just the major capital outlays. The money spent on headend equipment will determine the capacity of the system while the money spent at your house will determine how much of that capacity each citizen can utilize. The specs on all that will make for interesting reading. (Ok, maybe “interesting” is strong. But they will be important.)

But beyond that the story notes an interesting apparent discrepancy in the numbers: LUS has said that we can expect the first segment to be lit up about January of 09. But $5.5 million is allocated for hooking up customers in the 07-08 fiscal year, which begins in November for LUS. That’s earlier than anticipated. On the other hand no money is allocated for dealing with “customer accounts” until the the o8-o9 budget. That is not early and jibes with previous estimates.

What’s the deal? I don’t know but based on previous estimates of the hook-up costs per household 5.5 million will hook up 8000 to 9000 customers. One explanation would be that LUS hopes to light up its first segment in January of 09—perhaps as a New Years gift to the city—and will be completing hookups as the fiber is rolls into the neighborhood and people order service. So if fiber gets to you in, say, September of 08 then they’d hook you up (and charge that year’s budget) and you’d get to wait until Jan 09 to get service. (There is three months of agonizing anticipation!)

However that explanation seems a bit of simple. Hooking up 8-9000 homes by November, at least 2 months in advance of the lighting date, means that you’d have even more homes available when the segment came online. 10,000? 12? That’s better than 1/5 of the total households available in the city. And since the announced plan was to segment the city into 5 zones and build each zone out sequentially that would mean that LUS was planning on pre-subscribing 100% of one segment. That’s not going to happen and I don’t believe that LUS thinks it will. Hooking up that many homes that early suggests that LUS will be tackling more than one segment at a time. Two? Three? All? And if they are going to work on more than 1/5 of the city at once that in turn suggests that they will be pushing hard to complete the network in less than the three and half years previously discussed.

So I’m hoping for an announcement that the construction plan has changed—and that a highly segmented build has been abandoned. That’d be a good thing in my estimation.

Caveat: My line of reasoning on this makes a certain amount of sense but I might not fully understand a document I’ve not seen. Or I might not understand adequately the process of network construction or how costs are distributed. But I find the numbers very suggestive of a faster build with more subscribers brought online early than we’ve previously been led to believe.

Film Studio News

KLFY runs with a news story based on the “River Studio and Filmport” news coming to Baton Rouge. A recent Advocate story mentioned that the new studio, slated for West Baton Rouge, would sport a “satellite facility for animation and special effects along the Interstate 10 corridor in Lafayette and a satellite soundstage in the Minden area.” But that was the extent of the mention.

KLFY talked to Durel about it and a good bit more came out. From the broadcast interview:

You have to remember that, what we’re going to have, in Lafayette, in two years, is not going to exist in 95% of America twenty years from now.

Durel was, of course, referring to the the LUS Fiber network that is planning on serving its first customers in less than two years. He noted all of Lafayette’s bragging points say that the decision to come to Lafayette was

…all tied around the technology between the University, the LITE Center, and Fiber To The Home.

UL and the LITE Center are crucial to this since the animation and digitization technologies that movie makers are interested in will be available there. Being able to access those technologies from anywhere in town will be a major plus for the city.

The new facility in Baton Rouge appears to be a very large one intended for major films, meaning it will spawn a raft of jobs ranging from carpentry and electrical to acting, to costuming and digitalization enterprises—and developing that wealth of infrastructure is what makes the new project so exciting. Film industry interest in Louisiana has been growing and once the basics are readily available it will be much easier to attract new business. An earlier story in the Advocate had already talked about several film stages being planned in and around the River City. But Baton Rouge is not alone—Lafayette has already found some film love in the form of Emerald Bayous. Emerald Bayous, with a film stage in New Roads, was also attracted to the high tech infrastructure Lafayette has and has taken up residence in the LITE Center.

The payoff for a lot of hard work and dreaming on the part of some of Lafayette’s resident visionaries is starting to pay off. They should be feeling a little warm glow of satisfaction.

——For Mac & Linux & Windows users with unconventional systems, a repeat complaint——-
The KLFY page has a link to a video. If you are a Mac or Linux user the weird, broken, javascript prevents you from viewing it. Unwrapping the stuff it calls reveals the real URL http://www.klfy.com/Global/Video/WorldnowASX.asp?os=mac&vt=v&clipid=1574491 Pasting that URL directly into Windows Media Player works fine. So it’s not your system. (The tech guys at KLFY really ought to be embarrassed. Fixes for difficulties like this are as simple as giving the users you refuse to adequately serve a direct link.)

Baton Rouge’s Downtown Wi-Fi Shuts down

JoVoGo, formerly Verge Wireless, is shutting down the wireless network in downtown Baton Rouge. Again. The Verge network was purchased by US Wireless two years ago collapsed in less than a year as a month-long outage destroyed whatever customer loyalty the network had and was subsequently bought out by JoVoGo a year ago. JoVoGo returned Carlo McDonald, the head of the original network, to the helm but with a pair of well-connected locals to grease the path as we reported last year. The original PR release proudly touted the ownership of the influentials:

Don Powers served as the Executive Vice President of the Chamber of Greater Baton Rouge where he was employed for 18 years. Most recently he was associated with Congressman Richard Baker of Louisiana where he served as Public Information Officer following Hurricane Katrina. He also assisted Spire Capital Group, LLC out of New York in analyzing the Louisiana capital area for potential Venture Capital investment. Prior to serving at the chamber, Mr. Powers was with HNTB Corporation, a national architectural engineering firm. Jim Brewer recently retired as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer from the East Baton Rouge Parish (EBRP) Mayor-President’s office where he served for the past 27 years. As Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, Jim served as a senior advisor to the Mayor on all matters of public affairs, communications, and outreach to the general public and national community.

The current article in the Advocate says the system will be shutting down Sunday “for at least a few months.” and mentions the discouraging earlier history of failure and McDonald’s involvement. That becomes significant when McDonald talks about his (new) company acquiring a network “last year” whose equipment was “nearly obsolete.” That should have been no surprise since it seems very likely that was equipment McDonald originally installed. Shutting down the network seems nearly an afterthought as McDonald described the decision to take it down immediately as a consequence of the fact that service had become so “spotty.” Why hadn’t the network been upgraded as the PR release a year ago anticipated? But even more puzzling McDonald is now talking as if the connections that the JoVoGo venture were founded on were never pursued:

MacDonald admitted that he never specifically asked for a financial investment from the city. But he claims to have discussed the potential of a partnership several times over the years with members of Holden’s staff and other city-parish agency officials who seemed interested.

That makes it sound as if the former head of the local chamber with federal connections and a long-time administrative officer for the city-parish not only didn’t produce but didn’t even try. In the words of the ad: Wassup?!

My guess is that the Baton Rouge wifi net is dead and won’t be coming back from this second burial.

It ought to be clearly noted that this is a simple business failure: the private groups that ran this network couldn’t get it running well enough to attract retail subscribers and failed to find other institutional and public supporters to help fund it. It failed even after two business collapses surely reduced the capital cost to pennies on the dollar compared to the original investment. If it does resurrect itself again it will be on the basis of public support, not private financing.

Community support—and even community ownership—is essential to the survival of community resources like a publicly-available telecommunications network. Pretending that it can be done on a purely private basis (even by the well-healed and well-connected) has proven a questionable model, and not only in Baton Rouge. It would be far more sensible at this point for Baton Rouge to buy up the existing, installed base a fire-sale prices, use it for (entirely legitimate) public safety purposes and gradually build out a competitive wireless network to invigorate its still struggling riverfront downtown area.

Except, of course, that AT&T and Cox wouldn’t like it — and that their 2004 “Local Government (un)Fair Competition Act” makes it nearly impossible to do anything so sensible without engaging in a major knockdown-dragout fight with deep-pocketed and influential opponents.

So, likely, nothing will be done. And Baton Rouge and cities like her will have to do without a valuable resource.

The Money’s in the Bank

The sale of LUS fiber to the home bonds officially “closed” Thursday both the Advocate and the Advertiser report. LUS sold $110.4 million in revenue bonds to support the construction and intial costs of the network. As in “closing” on your home or car loan what this really means is that the money is in the bank and you can take possession of what you’ve been sold. In this case LUS (and the rest of us) is “buying” the use of the money. Now they can begin spending money.

Expect the pace of things to pick up.

The papers report that spending will begin on planning and on the early construction of items like the warehouse necessary to store construction equipment and the head-end building that will be the electronic heart of the new system.

Attentive readers may wonder what happened to the $125 million that the voters approved two years ago. Why only $110.4 million? The easy answer is that new cost projections are lower as a consequence of the delay are less so they are borrowing less. But while that is central there is a bit more to consider as the following from the Advocate indicates:

The $110.4 million in bonds are based on projections of what it would take to build a system if half the market signed up for LUS service.

The savings in technology and interest cost mean that should LUS exceed that 50 percent share of the market, it could make it easier to pay for further expansion with cash instead of another bond issue, Huval said.

The hope of LUS has always been to make LUS Fiber a utility, that is for LUS Fiber to be a ubiquitously available service run in the public interest. It is part of the history and community orientation of LUS to hope and believe that it will be the dominant provider of telecom services in Lafayette. While that level of subscription is not essential to the network’s success as a business (that figure is in the lower 20% range) a subscription figure above 50% is clearly what LUS desires. Based on subscription rates to other locally-owned, advanced telecom systems that hope is not particularly grandiose. Bristol, Va.’s system has recently had to retool its network at a real additional cost to accommodate higher that expected “take rates.” Consequently LUS has always taken seriously the potential for rapid subscriber growth—especially after having been endorsed by 68% of the voters. Heavy, early, buy-in from the community means a much higher initial cost to be paid for from the bonded money at a time before income really starts to roll in. The cost to run fiber from the street to the wall of your house, install the electronics box there, and connect up your home is a large, fixed cost that the business intends to pay off over time. (Huval estimated that cost at $6-700 recently.)

So part of what it means to ask for less money from bond market than you were authorized to take by the voters is that you believe that you can keep up with the hoped-for take rates at more cheaply as a consequence of lower interest rates and lower equipment and installation costs than you originally thought. This is good news.

The most dangerous moment for LUS might well be the moment of its biggest success. If LUS gets a huge initial subscription bulge that prevents it from showing a quick profit (as it pays off all those expensive but income-producing $6-700 dollar investments in new customers) AT&T, Cox and its agents are no doubt waiting to make use of the incumbent-written “Local Government (un)Fair Competition Act” to try and “prove” that LUS not making a profit (precisely because it is dominating the market) and use clauses in their their law ostensibly inserted to “protect the citizens” to shut down their local competition. LUS has apparently decided that this is not worth worrying about at the 125 million dollar level–only the 110.4 million dollar level. Having to worry about such nonsense at all adds cost to the build and is yet another reason why this special interest law should be repealed.

Oh, by the way…am I the only one to notice that LUS had the authority to take home $125 million dollars—authority directly from the people—but chose to only use $110 million of that authority? That its “excuse” was the best of all fiscally responsible reasons: that it wasn’t going to cost that much so they didn’t want to burden the people with the expense of what would amount to a safety cushion? Where are all the nutcase jobs who were sure that the project was going to be incompetently and corruptly handled? Are any of them rethinking or moderating their stand based on the evidence? (Thanks, I needed to get that off my chest.)

Fiber Bonds Authorized

I attended last night’s “special and historic joint meeting” of the Lafayette Parish Utility Authority and the City-Prish Council and can report with considerable satisfaction that Lafayette’s fiber to the home project is now a done deal. With the now-ritual dual votes–first the LPUA votes and then the whole council votes on the same proposal–the official stamp of approval was put on the sale of bonds that was all but completed as the councilmen voted. That vote, as pro forma as it was, removed the last potential legal impediment to the construction of our FTTH network.

Both Blanchard of the Advocate and Taylor of the Advertiser have published accounts of the story they’ve covered since April of ’04. They’re both worth your read.

The executive summary on the story: only 110.5 million of 125 million authorized by the people was offered for sale and all but 20% of them were sold as of last night. They went for 4.9%–considerably under the 5.5% anticipated by the business plan. A successful sale…

From the Advertiser:

“Certainly this is a day we’ve all been waiting for,” said LUS Director Terry Huval…

The City-Parish Council and Lafayette Public Utilities Authority authorized the sale of $110.4 million in revenue bonds to build the much-anticipated, controversial fiber-to-the-home project.

Lafayette Utilities System received a favorable bond rating of A2 from Moody’s and A-minus from Standard and Poors, said Jerry Osborne, bonding attorney for LUS. The 4.9 percent interest rate is better than what was available two years ago but not as good as a few months ago, he said.

From the Advocate:

Low interest rates are the sincerest form of flattery,” Osborne said.

Three years ago, LUS presented a business plan as part of a required feasibility study that showed the project would be successful with 50 percent of the market, borrowing the money at a 5.5 percent interest rate.

The actual 4.9 percent interest rate is lower, meaning it will cost less for LUS to borrow money.

Additionally, in the three years since the project was first proposed, the cost of technology has fallen, LUS Director Terry Huval said. That will all make it easier for LUS to meet its goal to provide its bundled services at 20 percent below what its competitors charge, Huval said.

The Advertiser:

Officials expect to close on the sale of the bonds June 28. Within 18 months, the first LUS customer should be receiving high-speed Internet, telephone and television service through the fiber optic network. Two years later, all LUS customers who want the fiber service should be receiving it, Huval said.

Customers may be connected faster than that since the technology for installing fiber and connecting homes has advanced in the years that the project was delayed by lawsuits, he said.


“This has been a long struggle, a very difficult journey,” [Bond Attorney] Osborne said…

“I think the next four years is going to be something to see around here,” Council Chairman Rob Stevenson said

Amen to those sentiments.

Update 6/13/07: My wife and I just put in an order for our very own “Communications System Revenue Bonds, Series 2007, City of Lafayette, State of Louisiana” fiber optic bonds. Call your agent and you too can own a piece of the future.

More on the Bonds

The Advocate covers the Fiber To The Home bond presentations in New York this morning. Sounds good! Apparently the visit went well and Durel and Huval returned feeling good about Lafayette’s prospects for a favorable bond rating.

Some of the recent local contretemps were frankly discussed:

Last week, attorneys for the plaintiff in that lawsuit, Elizabeth Naquin, suggested that Lafayette might be subject to further legal action should it proceed in the manner it’s planning to issue and pay back the bonds.

Durel said he thought the timing of that suggestion was an attempt to spook the bond markets into a higher rate.

Ottinger said Lafayette officials discussed with the bond market representatives the possibility — or lack thereof — of another lawsuit stalling the project.

The Louisiana Constitution prohibits further challenges to the ordinance that authorized the bonds to be issued, Ottinger said.

Good. Being upfront about the opposition is the way to go in most cases and I’m sure honesty served them well here. The bond guys have done their homework and asked the next obvious question:

The bond market representatives also wanted to know if LUS was prepared should the existing telecommunications companies in the area start practicing “predatory pricing,” in an effort to undercut the new LUS venture, Durel said.

That is, indeed, the next issue; and that for which the people of Lafayette should prepare. The incumbents tried this in Bristol and it didn’t work. I suspect that the folks in Louisiana will recognize the ploy as easily as did those in Virginia.

It’s all good so far:

“The bond rating agencies and the bond insurers were impressed with the depth of information and analysis we had as well as our passion, and the community’s support, for the project,” Huval said. “We received favorable comments about LUS’ proven track record in managing the deployment of large projects.”

Let’s get on with it!

Slime: Naquin & Attorneys try to Drive up Bond Costs

Slime. Unprincipled, low-life slime.

That is the mildest and kindest epitaph that I can manage for Elizabeth Naquin, her Plaquimines attorneys and the incumbent corporations who are pretty obviously paying them off. The only possible purpose for stirring things up right now is to drive up the costs of the bonds that are to be marketed in New York next week. And that is plain, flat, wrong.

According to Kevin Blanchard over at the Advocate the attorneys for Naquin (BS/AT&T and/or Cox?) have shot off emails — to the media — threatening to sue Lafayette at some unspecified future moment over the plan to fund the construction of Lafayette’s fiber network. That plan has already been approved by the court of last resort, the Louisiana Supreme Court, and the objections raised have already been dismissed. Further, according to the Louisiana constitution the bond ordinance becomes immune to challenge when it is validated and that immunity extends to:

“the validity of the . . . means provided for the payment of such bonds and the validity of all pledges of revenues and of all covenants and provisions contained in the instrument or proceedings authorizing or providing for the issuance of such bonds, and as to all matters adjudicated and as to all objections presented or which might have been presented in such proceeding, and shall constitute a permanent injunction against the institution by any person of any action or proceeding contesting the validity of the bonds or any other matter adjudicated or which might have been called in question in such proceedings.” [Legal citation from Ottinger’s press release]

That is pretty conclusive. Let us be very plain: No one and no “thing” can challenge a bond once it has been validated and issued. The constitution is clear; no matter how defective a bond ordinance might prove to be, it cannot be changed after it has been validated and sold. The business plan supporting it is incorporated into the ordinance and becomes a contract with the bond holders. NOTHING can be done to change it. (Even if the court hadn’t already ruled on the question.)

So this is clearly FUD–an attempt to sow Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. It cannot be a valid legal objection and would only result in ridicule if actually brought before a court.

The real question is: WHO are they trying to scare now? And the answer is plain: the men who will sit across the table from Lafayette’s representatives setting up the bond sale. They would like to make those men fearful, uncertain, and doubtful. They hope those men will condition the bonds in such a way as to force millions more in interest costs on the people of Lafayette.

That the “lawyers” (aka PR agents for BS/AT&T and/or Cox?) are sending reporters multiple emails with their threatening “news” the week before the Lafayette team is set be in New York setting up the bond sale makes the whole slimy thing disgustingly transparent.

To this point I’ve been willing to do no more than say that Naquin and her attorneys are pretty transparently serving the interests of AT&T (nee BS) and Cox. There is no money in a successful suit for Elizabeth Naquin and very little for her ambulance-chasing “personal injury” lawyers. With the Supreme Court decision they have lost all hope of ever being paid a penny by LUS or LCG on this case. Yet still they spend money on lawyers–money that cannot bring them any return. This has been an expensive lawsuit to carry forward–backed by a team of lawyers from several law firms, none of which are noted for their charity work. Someone is paying for this. Who benefits? Cox and BS/AT&T benefit. Who is hurt? The people of Lafayette.

Naquin is a new resident in Lafayette and clearly not a woman of means. She has been unwilling to make the slightest effort toward explaining to her neighbors why she wants to stand in their way and cost them millions of dollars in extra expenses to implement a decision that the people overwhelmingly approved in an hard-fought election.

This is a case made for investigative journalism. Who is Elizabeth Naquin? Why does she not have the decency to publicly justify the cost she is imposing on her new community. What is her connection with BellSouth and or Cox. What is her work history? When exactly did she move to Lafayette and why? Who is actually paying the expense of this series of lawsuits and threats? Are corporate funds or money from anyone employed by the incumbents involved. Are public relations firms involved in passing money on to its recipients? Which ones? What about Naquin’s repentant ex-ally, Matthew Eastin? Who recruited this student? Where did he get the money to pay his “share” of the expenses while he was involved? Did he pay anything? Was he asked to? How much?

Really…these lawsuits are going to cost the citizens of the community millions of dollars. It is now past the point where there is any possible legal or ethical rationale that could justify the continued legal harassment and hence no conceivable reason to not thoroughly investigate this situation. (Recall the feeding frenzy about much less expensive irregularities at the airport commission?) There is a big story here somewhere; anyone can smell it and the people deserve to know. (ULL journalism students, anyone?)

I’d like to know more–if anyone out there can shed any light on this please let me know. Here or via email.

Without discussion or public comment…

The bond issue is rolling through “without,” as the article in the Advocate notes “discussion or public comment.” That’s as it should be–the decision to go forward was made directly by the community during the July 16th referendum two years ago; the council’s proper role on this issue is to execute the will of the people.

The introduction of the ordinance this week is a means to expedite the passage of the ordinance as soon as final conditions are set by the bond market after next week’s trip to New York by the LUS/LCG personnel who will make their presentation to a group of major bond brokers. (Say a little prayer for the home time–if the bond agents’ conditions are favorable it could mean a huge interest savings for the people of Lafayette over the life of the bond issue.)


I make a desultory effort on Saturdays to provide a link to something you can do–not merely read about. The Advocate this morning provides the perfect opportunity to highlight Wikipedia, the citizen-edited, online, encyclopedia. An article in this morning’s newspaper offers an overview of the project from the standpoint of South Louisiana authors of Wikipedia articles. They’ve done a great job cleaning up misconceptions about our region and making accurate information about their special areas of knowledge available to all.

The message for today is: So can you. We all have knowledge to share and Wikipedia provides a disciplined, peer-reviewed way to do so. After all, if you enjoy the knowledge available on the web it would seem fair to contribute to the wealth.

But first some background…. From the introductory paragraphs:

Louisianians contributing to Wikipedia, at http://www.wikipedia.org, are helping to clear up misconceptions about often-stereotyped Louisiana culture.

“I thought the articles were lacking in accurate information, so I decided to revise them using source material I was familiar with,” said Shane K. Bernard, a Wikipedia contributor who has edited many of the articles about southern Louisiana.

The article goes on to interview Bernard and other regional writers.

The Wikipedia’s ambition is reminescent of the original French Encyclopedists. Their
Encyclopédie is often viewed as the purest expression of Enlightenment ideals: they wanted to make available all of the world’s knowledge in a rational, accessible form—and in doing so invented a new literary form, the encyclopedia, and a new, collaborative review method of writing and editing works too large for any single person. They were clear about wanting to change the way that people think–and arguably their new device for ordering and validating vast amounts of information did much to make their model of the scientific attitude widespread among a newly literate public.

Wikipedia can be understood as the logical extension of the attitude and intents of the original Encyclopédie in an era where the most accessible forms of knowledge and the most powerful collaborative tools are mediated, not by the printing press, but by the internet. What is interesting—and controversial—about the project is that it lets literally anyone contribute. Your work is screened for quality—by other contributors, but you are not screened for certifications. A local Swamp Pop enthusiast can change an entry last edited by a person holding a doctorate in musicology who wrote his dissertation on the roots of the genre. Of course, the professional will keep a close eye on the entry, editing it to make sure it remains accurate. Online discussions among the “wikipeidia community” iron out disagreements and the very public nature of the edits tends to push regular users to only make edits that they can easily defend. The traditions and values of the online community

The result has been (at least in my judgment) an astonishingly good, if not perfect encyclopedia with a breadth that could not be achieved in any other way. It stands as vindication of the idea that a large community can do very good and complex work relying only on self-organization and self-governance. There is no centralized “quality control” and yet it all works quite well.

But back to today’s idea: You can participant. If you do a lousy job you’ll get edited out. If you do a good one it’ll be kept—and you’ll know you’ve made a contribution.

If you’re interested in doing something like this review how the swamp pop entry got put together. It’s a nice little example. Click over to the current Swamp Pop page. Near the top of the page click on the tab that says “History.” This page allows you to compare any two versions of the article by clicking on the radio buttons to the left of each entry. Go to the bottom of the page and click on the date of the first “edit” {14 August 2004}. You’ll see a short “stub” entry. The current sophisticated version grew from that seed by small additions and corrections.

Take a look a the community portal. You’ll see that there are plenty of available tasks. You can become a community member by simply creating an account and doing something.

Have fun and contribute to the web!

“LUS bonds up to council”

Kevin Blanchard over at the Advocate posts a background update and a timeline to the ongoing saga of the fiber bond sale. He points out that the Naquin lawsuit was filed to prevent the bond sale and that Lafayette’s victory at the state Supreme Court cleared the way for the sale.

The following quotes neatly establish the timeline (date inclusions mine):

  • [5/15/07] The City-Parish Council is scheduled Tuesday to introduce an ordinance that will be presented to the bond markets as part of a proposal for LUS to borrow up to $125 million…
  • [5/23-24/07] Lafayette and LUS officials will be in New York in two weeks to meet with representatives of the bond market…
  • [6/11/07] On June 11, LUS will get an official proposal from the bond market that includes things such as proposed interest rate and other terms of the bonds…
  • [6/12/07] The next day, the council will hold a special meeting to plug those specifics into the ordinance it would introduce Tuesday.
  • [by 6/30/07] If all goes well, LUS could obtain funding by the end of June, Lalumia said.
  • [8/1/07] If the bonds are issued by the end of June, that would place that estimate of having its first customer by October 2008.

The story clarifies (again) the way the bond funding will work, detailing the way it will be paid off from user fees and how the expected shortfall during the start-up years will be handled. In line with the original feasibility plan, they expect to start turning a profit in three years.

Worth the read….