MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING

OF THE

FINANCE COMMITTEE

November 9, 2012

 

Table of Contents

 

                Subject                                                                                                                                  Page No.               Exhibit

Introduction                                                                                                                               2

1.                   Adoption of the November 9, 2012 Proposed Meeting Agenda                                       3

2.                   Approval of the Minutes of the Regular Meeting held on July 26, 2011                         4

3.                   Issuance of 2012 Subordinated Notes                                                                                   5                       3-A”; “3-B

4.                   Next Meeting Next Meeting                                                                                                     7                                      

                Closing                                                                                                                                          8                                                      

 

                                                                                                                                                                               

 


Minutes of the regular meeting of the New York Power Authority’s Finance Committee held via video conference at the Authority’s offices at 123 Main Street, White Plains, New York at approximately 11:00 a.m.

 

                Members of the Finance Committee present were:

                John R. Koelmel, Chairperson

Trustee Jonathan Foster

Trustee Joanne M. Mahoney (via telephone conference)

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Also in attendance were:

 

                Terrance P. Flynn                                Trustee

                R. Wayne LeChase                             Trustee

                Judith McCarthy                                 Executive Vice President and General Counsel

                Donald Russak                                    Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

                Jill Anderson                                         Chief of Staff and Director – Energy Policy

                Joan Tursi                                             Senior Vice President – Corporate Support Services

                Paul Belnick                                         Vice President – Energy Efficiency

                Brian McElroy                                     Treasurer

Karen Delince                                       Corporate Secretary

Timothy Sheehan                                                Special Counsel

                Dennis Eccleston                                 Chief Information Officer

Helen Eisenfeld                                    Director – Financial Controls

Connie Cullen                                      Deputy Director – Media Relations

Eric Alemany                                       Project Manager – Energy Efficiency

Christine Keta                                      Manager – Program Operations, Energy Efficiency

                Gary Schmid                                        Manager – Network Services, Infrastructure

Lorna Johnson                                     Assistant Corporate Secretary

Ruth Colon                                           Senior Business Integration Project Manager

Brian Wilkie                                          Rotational Business Integration Project Manager

                John V. Connorton, Jr.                        Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP                     

Sheri L. Mooney                                  Senior Vice President, Senior Programs Manager - First Niagara

   Financial Group

 

Chairman John Koelmel presided over the meeting.  Corporate Secretary Delince kept the Minutes.


Introduction

 

                Chairman John Koelmel welcomed committee members, and also Trustees Flynn and LeChase and Authority senior staff to the meeting.  He said the meeting has been duly noticed as required by the Open Meetings Law and called the meeting to order pursuant to Section B(4) of the Finance Committee Charter.

 

 


1.                   Adoption of the Proposed Meeting Agenda

 

By motion made and seconded the agenda for the meeting was adopted.

 

 


2.                   Approval of the Minutes 

 

The Minutes of the Committee’s Regular Meeting of July 26, 2011, were approved.

 


3.                   Issuance of the 2012 Subordinated Notes

Mr. Donald Russak submitted the following report:

SUMMARY

“The Trustees will be requested at their November 9, 2012 special meeting to approve the issuance of the 2012 Subordinated Notes (‘Notes’) to be funded, as described below, by an adjustment to the payment schedule for the Niagara Relicensing Settlement Agreement State Parks Greenway Fund pursuant to the terms of the Relicensing Settlement Agreement entered into by the Authority and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (‘OPRHP’) at the request of OPRHP.  The Finance Committee is requested to recommend to the Trustees adoption of the related resolutions.

BACKGROUND

“On July 18, 2005, the Authority executed the Relicensing Settlement Agreement Addressing New License Terms and Conditions (‘Settlement Agreement’) entered into by several parties to the relicensing of the Niagara Project, including OPRHP.  Section 3.1 of Appendix E of the Settlement Agreement provides for the establishment of a Relicensing Settlement Agreement State Parks Greenway Fund, which is to be funded by the Authority in the amount of $3 million per year for the term of the 50-year License.  The State Parks Greenway Fund was established to support the construction and/or rehabilitation of parks, recreation and related facilities in and around the Niagara River Greenway.  A State Parks Standing Committee was created to administer and oversee projects financed by the State Parks Greenway Fund.

“The Settlement Agreement further provides that the Authority may elect to adjust the schedule of payments after consultation with OPRHP.  OPRHP, in order to accelerate the funding of certain projects it wants to complete in the region, has requested of the Authority that it elect to make an adjustment to the schedule of payments as allowed under the terms of the Settlement Agreement.  Specifically, OPRHP has identified approximately $25 million of qualifying improvements it wishes to make in the next few years.

DISCUSSION

“OPRHP requested that the Authority consider issuing Notes to a third-party investor for which the proceeds may be deposited into the State Parks Greenway Fund and a portion of the Authority’s annual payments, which would otherwise be deposited into the State Parks Greenway Fund, would be used to repay the Notes.  The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (‘EFC’) was identified as a potential third-party participant in this process.  Pursuant to a Note Purchase Agreement between EFC and the Authority (a draft of which is attached as Exhibit ‘3-A’), EFC has advised that it would purchase the Notes and expects to hold it in its portfolio as an authorized investment.  The Authority would issue the Notes pursuant to a Resolution Authorizing Subordinated Notes, Series 2012 (Federally Taxable), attached hereto as Exhibit ‘3-B.’  Approval of certain provisions of such resolution by the State Comptroller under Section 1010-a of the NYPA Act will be sought.

“The Authority’s financial advisor, Public Financial Management, will advise Authority staff and verify the reasonableness of the interest rates employed in the transaction.  Upon the execution and closing of such Notes, the net proceeds received by the Authority shall immediately be deposited into the State Parks Greenway Fund and made available for qualifying projects as set forth in the Section 3 of Appendix E of the Settlement Agreement.  The Authority will continue to make $3 million per year available for the State Parks Greenway Fund for the term of the License with the payment schedule adjusted to reflect the use of a portion of the $3 million provided each year for up to twenty-five years to pay the debt service associated with the Notes.  After the payment of the debt service, all the remainder of the annual $3 million amount will be deposited into the State Parks Greenway Fund and made available for qualifying projects.

 

FISCAL INFORMATION

                The issuance of the 2012 Subordinated Notes would be limited to an amount no greater than $30 million; to a term no greater than twenty-five years; and at an interest rate no greater than 5.5%.  The fiscal impact on the Authority is negligible.  The transaction is revenue neutral to the Authority and would result in only a nominal increase to the amount of the Authority’s subordinated debt outstanding.  The Authority is currently obligated to make the $3 million per year payment under the Relicensing Settlement Agreement.  A portion of these payments will be used to retire the Notes.

REQUESTED ACTION

It is requested that the Finance Committee recommend that the Authority’s Trustees adopt the necessary resolutions authorizing the issuance of the 2012 Subordinated Notes to be funded by such adjusted payment schedule.” 

                In response to a question from Trustee Nicandri, Mr. Russak said that the bonds will be taxable.  Responding to a question from Chairman Koelmel, Mr. Russak said the Authority entered into a series of Settlement Agreements with parties to the relicensing of the Niagara Power Project; this includes the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (“OPRHP”).  The Authority provides funding of $3 million per year to the State Parks Greenway Fund and OPRHP has asked that the Authority adjust its schedule of payments to this Fund.  To that end, staff has determined that the most cost-effective approach to accomplish this would be to issue the Note, as recommended, and use a portion of the payment stream to repay the debt in order to take advantage of today’s very low interest rates.  This will better fit the needs of OPRHP; also, OPRHP will get more money for the same value.  Responding to further question from Chairman Koelmel, Mr. Russak said that a function of the Finance Committee is to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees on the issuance of any notes or bonds of the Authority.

The following resolution, as submitted by the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, was unanimously adopted by the Committee.

RESOLVED, That the Finance Committee recommends that the Authority’s Trustees adopt the necessary resolutions authorizing the issuance of Subordinated Notes, Series 2012 (Federally Taxable), substantially in the form as attached hereto as Exhibit “3-B,” as discussed in the foregoing report of the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

 


4.                   Next Meeting

 

The next regular meeting of the Finance Committee is to be determined. 


Closing

 

                On motion made and seconded, the meeting was adjourned by the Chairman at approximately 11:10 a.m.

 

Delince Signature

Karen Delince

Corporate Secretary