THE DISTRICT'S DEBT
EAWSD carries an unusually large debt for a water utility of its size. This can be traced directly to the court-ordered cost incurred to acquire the utility from Eldorado’s original developer in 2004.
In addition, like most other water utilities, the District uses operating loans to fund ongoing maintenance and system improvements. These ongoing “system improvement” loans (shown below in blue) are separate from the initial “acquisition” debt (shown below in gray) incurred in acquiring the system.
The bottom line: the acquisition debt will be fully paid off in 2025, while system improvement loans will continue to be integral to funding the upgrade and replacement of EAWSD’s aging infrastructure.
The gray bars on the chart show how, in 2004-2005, EAWSD took on a debt of $13.7 million to acquire the utility and fund essential upgrades. These bonds were refinanced at lower interest rates in 2013, using loans from the New Mexico Finance Authority (NMFA). At the end of June 2016, this debt was $8.7 million, meaning more than a third of the original $13.7 million debt has been paid off.
The blue bars on the chart show that in 2010 and in May 2016, the District obtained additional loans from NMFA to fund ongoing system improvements. The light blue bars show the debt level on existing operating loans. The dark blue bars show the addition of $1.0 to $1.5 million of new loans projected to finance capital requirements during each of the remaining three years covered by the 2015 rate study (2017-2019). The chart does not show any loans that may be needed after 2019 to fund water system improvements.
To learn more about the history of EAWSD and the acquisition of its water system, read about the District's History