EPB Gig Debt
Little Chicago Watch has monitored local government bond debt for over two years. We began after the City of Chattanooga lost $13 million in bond issue penalties in a Swaption Bond Issue. City Council called this bond a “gamble.” In Progress tab. For those paying the tab, we do not appreciate the City Council’s high risk behavior with other people’s money.
For the taxpayers, the issue is can EPB return the taxpayer’s capital investment in bond debt. EPB’s entertainment pursuits currently comprise 42 percent of Chattanooga’s bond debt. Our concern is based solidly in EPB financial data.
Please note on the pie chart that EPB’s share of bond debt exceeds the $250 million in needed sewer repairs that has been ordered by the Environmental Protection Agency. What if the City of Chattanooga would have focused on their chartered mission of infrastructure, instead of optional entertainment pursuits with EPB?
EPB’s bond rating has dropped, and the taxpayers of Chattanooga are left with mind boggling bond debt for optional services for an entertainment venture. The idea that our local government would incur this amount of debt for cable TV and faster internet, when the private sector was providing the service, is perplexing.
If the market would have demanded faster internet, then there should be a huge customer base for Gig service. EPB does not have an adequate customer base to pay the GIG debt, and uses electric service revenue to supplement and pay the principal and interest on this bond debt.
This is a typical City of Chattanooga government business pursuit, where the idea is pursued with no real measure of whether the market demands the service, and if the taxpayer capital investment can be recaptured, Wilson Air, Chattanoogan Hotel,…….
Happy Thanksgiving from Little Chicago Watch Group