Friday, May 25, 2007

More on the Bonds

The Advocate covers the Fiber To The Home bond presentations in New York this morning. Sounds good! Apparently the visit went well and Durel and Huval returned feeling good about Lafayette's prospects for a favorable bond rating.

Some of the recent local contretemps were frankly discussed:

Last week, attorneys for the plaintiff in that lawsuit, Elizabeth Naquin, suggested that Lafayette might be subject to further legal action should it proceed in the manner it’s planning to issue and pay back the bonds.

Durel said he thought the timing of that suggestion was an attempt to spook the bond markets into a higher rate.

Ottinger said Lafayette officials discussed with the bond market representatives the possibility — or lack thereof — of another lawsuit stalling the project.

The Louisiana Constitution prohibits further challenges to the ordinance that authorized the bonds to be issued, Ottinger said.

Good. Being upfront about the opposition is the way to go in most cases and I'm sure honesty served them well here. The bond guys have done their homework and asked the next obvious question:

The bond market representatives also wanted to know if LUS was prepared should the existing telecommunications companies in the area start practicing “predatory pricing,” in an effort to undercut the new LUS venture, Durel said.

That is, indeed, the next issue; and that for which the people of Lafayette should prepare. The incumbents tried this in Bristol and it didn't work. I suspect that the folks in Louisiana will recognize the ploy as easily as did those in Virginia.

It's all good so far:
“The bond rating agencies and the bond insurers were impressed with the depth of information and analysis we had as well as our passion, and the community’s support, for the project,” Huval said. “We received favorable comments about LUS’ proven track record in managing the deployment of large projects.”
Let's get on with it!

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