Hamden, CT completes oversubscribed debt sale but must follow through with balanced budgets

This story was initially published at Debtwire.com

The Town of Hamden, Connecticut successfully completed an oversubscribed USD 30.4m bond sale yesterday (21 July), an important milestone in the town’s efforts to achieve financial stability – assuming officials maintain their commitment to that effort, said Barry Bernabe, managing director at Phoenix Advisors, the town’s financial advisor. 

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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences USD 100m museum issuance has market critics

This story was initially published at Debtwire.com

The USD 100m debt issuance to fund the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences museum in Los Angeles leaves some market participants cynical about the project’s essentiality given the use of tax-exempt financing.

The deal is the second debt issuance in five years for a museum devoted to the Oscars award ceremony and Hollywood. The project is set to cost USD 482m and open in December 2020 – more than a year late and USD 100m over budget.

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PG&E bankruptcy emboldens California municipalities – but breaking up is hard to do

Breaking up with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is hard to do.

But the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and other municipalities across California are evaluating the possibility of doing just that, seeking to take advantage of a groundswell of public discontent in the wake of PG&E’s wildfire-driven collapse into bankruptcy, which has left the utility giant in an unfamiliar position of political vulnerability.

A move toward utility “municipalization” in the state could introduce yet another set of complications for PG&E, which has historically resisted efforts by cities to gain energy independence and is already battling with contentious bankruptcy proceedings, an uncertain legislative reform process, and the threat, just around the corner, of another vicious wildfire season.

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Public Schools Scramble to Accommodate Hurricane Maria Evacuees, Hoping Money Will Follow

24 June 2018

Thirty-three days after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, Gloria Irizarry and her family moved to Connecticut.

Irizarry loved her job as a grade school teacher at John F. Kennedy School in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico. But a week following the hurricane, the elementary school building was full of refugees, and the teachers waited for instructions from the local board of education. Classes ultimately wouldn’t resume until January 2018, three-and-a-half months after Maria struck the island.

The Irizarrys are among the more than 135,000 Puerto Ricans who packed up what was left of their lives and moved to the states in the six months following Hurricane Maria, according to estimates by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. The waves of newcomers have put intense pressure on cash-strapped school districts – even forcing the hand of both state and federal governments, which eventually pledged additional funding. Tens of millions will be spent over and above initial 2017-18 school budgets – but it could take years for those dollars to find their way into school coffers, and in the meantime, schools are doing more with less.

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SQLC’s retirement homes nearly double management fees following Greystone removal

This piece first published October 11, 2017, Debtwire Municipals.

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Improved operating margins or fewer covenant violations are two indicators that would suggest the new management is worth the additional cost at Senior Qualities Lifestyles Corporation (SQLC), which nearly doubled management fees at the company’s continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), on individual credits, said two bondholders.

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