A month ago, I laid into the UTA and Rep. Craig Frank for claiming that UTOPIA could call bond payments this year. As far as I knew, the financing plan would not allow for UTOPIA to call any pledges until next year when the first payment came due. Now it looks like I’m the red-faced one as UTOPIA has confirmed that it plans to ask cities to chip in this year.
Apparently UTOPIA was only able to secure a variable-rate bond as part of the refinancing deal and was unable to convert it into a fixed-rate one. That’s not surprising given that credit markets were running a bit dry, but it is unexpected since that little detail never seemed to come up. Barring a sudden large increase in subscriber revenue, this has left UTOPIA short anywhere from $50K to $300K a month because of increased interest rates. The article didn’t reveal if that is the only shortfall in bond payments or not, but they are covering operating costs.
I’m especially upset because UTOPIA didn’t tell me that I was wrong after I published my lambasting. And I ended up finding out this morning by reading the article in the DesNews instead of getting any kind of head’s up. The lack of information available to the public is bad enough, but leaving your loudest supporters hanging out to dry just won’t fly.