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R.E. Badger Water Facilities Financing Authority discusses state of finances

RANCHO SANTA FE — The R.E. Badger Water Facilities Financing Authority met on Dec. 12 at the Santa Fe Irrigation District office to elect new officers to its board of directors and listen to a presentation from a CPA regarding the financing authority’s finances.

Santa Fe Irrigation District board member Marlene King said that the meeting’s purpose was for the San Dieguito Water District and the Santa Fe Irrigation District to demonstrate that they have the finances to pay back the loan both organizations took out together in order to make improvements to the R.E. Badger Treatment plant.

“What we’re paying back right now is a refinancing of the original debt that was taken out, I believe, in 1999,” King said. “And this refinancing occurred in 2007 to reduce the interest rates.”

This year marks the last in which the irrigation district will pay off the loan, while the San Dieguito district will continue paying it off for the next five years.

As the meeting began, the board members approved the minutes from the authority’s last meeting on Feb. 14. Afterward, they discussed appointing new officers to the board of directors. As of the Dec. 12 meeting, the board included king as Chair, Joe Mosca as vice-chair, Andy Menshek as secretary/treasurer, and Albert C. Lau as executive director.

King nominated Menshek as the president of the committee. Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear was nominated as vice-chair. Blakespear was not present at the meeting. Mosca was nominated as secretary/treasurer. It was decided that Lau would remain as executive director.

Coley Delaney, CPA for The Pun Group Accountants and Advisors, made a presentation regarding an independent audit of the Authority’s finances. The audit covered the finances of the authority up until June 30, 2019. In the presentation, Delaney said that the net assets for the authority have declined approximately $1.6 million from $8.36 million to around $6.73 million, and that there were no accounting errors found in the audit.

“It’s a very clean representation to all of our customers that took out the debt, because of course, the customers are the district,” King said. “We’re representing the public here… we have the money, the money we’ve invested in very conservative instruments. And that’s part of the report, if any member of the public want to read them, they would see that we take a conservative approach to how we invest their money.

“And everything is as expected… there’s nothing that’s occurred in these two districts and this joint-owned facility that would indicate we are not very careful with the customer’s money and we’re paying back our debt on time.”

Afterward, Administration Services Manager Seth Gates discussed the upgrades to the irrigation district’s IT department and the new training measures that would be implemented to improve cybersecurity.

The next meeting of the Water Facilities Financing Authority will occur on Dec. 10, 2020.