Water Treatment Plant Expansion

CASE STUDY: North Weld County Water District (NWCWD), Colorado

The Goal

North Weld County Water District (NWCWD) is one of three member water providers that comprise the Soldier Canyon Water Treatment Authority (SCWTA), a water producer. The Authority operates a water treatment plant serving the three providers. Authority members sought to expand its treatment facility, but only one of the three entities indicated they would cash fund their portion of the project. SCWTA contracted Ehlers to analyze financing options for expansion of the water treatment plant and ultimately issue debt through the authority to fund the project.

The Solution

Authority officials engaged Ehlers for debt issuance & management and financial management planning services. Ehlers began by modeling how to facilitate individual authority payments to SCWTA without impacting the overall wholesale water rates of all three entities.

Then we crafted a financing plan and wholesale rate structure to pay for the treatment facility expansion, with two entities borrowing and one paying cash. A second district was able to come forward after determining it also could cash-fund its portion of the project, leaving NWCWD the only borrower in the pool. Ehlers refined analysis and found it would be in their best interest to have the District issue its own obligation to fund the project.

The Results

Ehlers advised the district on its RFP process for bond/disclosure counsel services and coordinated the sales process for over $16 million of Water Revenue Bonds. After a successful competitive sale, generating 11 bids, the District recognized savings of approximately $486,000 between the highest and lowest bids. Ehlers continues to advise on financial management services to ensure current rate construct is adequately providing cash for other capital improvements.