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Griffin: Hydroelectric bonds called by insurer

Independence County Judge Robert Griffin told White River Now’s Gary Bridgman Tuesday that very soon there will be sole ownership of the county’s hydroelectric project bonds.

The judge said the new owner of the bonds will be the bonds’ insurer, ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation.

Griffin told Bridgman that his office received official notice that ACA is calling the bonds for their sole ownership, noting he was informed of the move a few weeks ago. He said the decision means all bondholders will be paid in full, and the insurer, ACA, will be the sole owner of the bonds.

In talking with Bridgman, the judge said the project never produced the necessary power to service the bonds in a single year. As the insurer, ACA pays the difference between what the project produces and the cost to operate the hydroelectric facilities at Locks 1 and 2 on the White River and service the bonds.

Griffin said while it was originally projected to produce at least 86,000 watts of electricity, the project has produced, at best, 55,000 watts of power.

The judge told Bridgman he believes the move is a positive one. He estimated the amount owed on the Series 2003 bonds is $29,500,000 while the Series 2005 bonds amount owed is $14,950,00.

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