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Monday, Sep 26, 2022
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Agency to Help City Pay for Sewer Upgrades

The cities and special districts that use the city of San Diego’s sewer system have decided to work with the city in its interim financing of sewer projects.

The Metropolitan Wastewater Joint Powers Authority voted March 3 to pay its share of the interim financing arranged by the city for $7.5 million in upgrades, maintenance and expansion of the wastewater system planned through 2007.

“The additional costs associated with the funding mechanism for these important projects were essentially absorbed into existing budgets because San Diego’s pay-as-you-go capital improvement projects are currently lower than anticipated,” said a Metro JPA spokeswoman. “In fact, the city of San Diego has a temporary halt on any CIP project funding until a new round of bond financing is secured.”

The vote was taken when the Metro JPA became aware that short-term financing had been established by the San Diego City Council on behalf of the city’s Metro Wastewater Department, anticipating future bond financing that never materialized, she said. Installment payments for about $19 million were to start in April 2006.

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Metro JPA members provide about 32 percent of the flow handled by the system and pay that percentage of its operating and maintenance costs, she said.

The authority directed its technical and financial consultants to continue to monitor the city’s financial situation, and the Metropolitan Wastewater Department’s budget, and make regular reports.

“Should San Diego’s current financial woes make further funding through loans or bonds impossible or at exorbitant rates, however, JPA members reserved the right to provide the financing themselves, using their better bond ratings and credit,” said the spokeswoman.

Members of the Metro JPA are the cities of Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Imperial Beach, National City, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Poway, the county of San Diego (on behalf of the Winter Gardens Sewer Maintenance District and Lakeside/Alpine and Spring Valley sanitation districts), the Otay and Padre Dam water districts, and the East Otay Sanitation District. The city of Chula Vista is a member of the Metro Wastewater Commission, the forerunner of the JPA, but has not yet affiliated with the authority.

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