The Bond Buyer’s editors Tuesday announced the finalists for the newspaper’s ninth annual Deal of the Year Awards.
The announcement recognized some of the country’s most innovative municipal bond issuers for transactions that financed a range of projects, including transportation, schools, water and sewer systems, a hospital, economic development through investment in biomedical and scientific research, wind energy, and public pensions.
The nominations highlighted local efforts to help governments find funds for long-planned priorities and cope with a volatile financial market during a period of historic stress on public budgets.
The nominations this year, and the finalists, included issuers in each region that utilized the taxable Build America Bond and other stimulus programs created by 2009’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The 2010 awards, which considered deals that closed between Oct. 1, 2009, and Sept. 30, 2010, drew more than 70 nominations for transactions ranging in size from more than a billion dollars to just a few million.
Two finalists were selected from each region as covered by The Bond Buyer: a large issuer and a small issuer determined by the gross revenue of the issuer or the entity financed in its most recent fiscal year. Small deals are those completed by issuers with annual revenue of $70 million or less, or beneficiaries with those revenue levels.
All the regional finalists are in the running for the overall Deal of the Year Award, which will be announced Dec. 9 at a ceremony at the Essex House hotel in New York City.
The entries were evaluated in October by The Bond Buyer’s editors and bureau chiefs, who looked for innovation, efforts by government issuers to accomplish their goals in challenging times, the ability for a deal to serve as a model for other financings, and the public purpose for which a transaction’s proceeds were used.
The newspaper also selected a winner for its award for nontraditional public finance transactions, which was open to deals that did not use traditional municipal securities. The award, which was presented for the first time in 2006, reflects the growth of this nontraditional sector.
The regional finalists are:
The New York Liberty Development Corp. for its $650 million of second priority Liberty revenue refunding bonds.
The New York Municipal Bond Bank Agency’s $184.24 million of Recovery Act bonds that included tax-exempt bonds, Build America Bonds, and recovery zone bonds.
The Regional Transportation District of Denver’s $397.84 million of tax-exempt private-activity bonds for the Eagle P3 Project, the first public-private partnership for passenger rail in the United States. The project includes a long-term concession to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain two rail corridors in the area.
The La Vernia Higher Education Finance Corp.’s $65,175,000 of education revenue bonds, Series 2009A, and $1,690,000 of taxable education revenue bonds, Series 2009B, for the KIPP Inc. charter school facilities.
The Indianapolis Local Improvement Bond Bank for its $159.52 million of PILOT infrastructure project bonds that are part of the sale and transfer of the city’s water and sewer systems to nonprofit Citizens Energy Group.
The Baraga County Memorial Hospital for its $25 million of taxable revenue Build America Bonds, Series 2010A, and $3.6 million of taxable revenue bonds, Series 2010B, for a new nonrated 15-bed hospital in rural northern L’Anse, Mich.
The Kentucky Asset/Liability Commission for its $467.555 million issue consisting entirely of taxable funding notes to refinance internal loans owed by the commonwealth to the state Teachers Retirement System.
The city of Port St. Lucie, Fla., for its $64,035,000 of tax-exempt research facilities revenue bonds, Series 2010, for the Oregon Health and Science University Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute Florida Corp. project as part of a project for job creation and commercial development.
The Southern California Public Power Authority for its $237.24 million of Milford Wind Corridor Phase I Project revenue bonds to finance prepayment for electric energy output from a wind energy project located near Milford, Utah.
The California School Finance Authority Educational Facilities Revenue $12 million direct subsidy qualified school construction bonds to fund construction of a K-8 charter school facility located on the Chula Vista campus of High Tech High.
The $1 billion Port of Miami tunnel project and MAT Concessionaire LLC, for the design, build, finance, operate, and maintain contract for a project to build a tunnel that provides two lanes of traffic for large cargo trucks and cruise passenger buses going to and from the port, bypassing downtown Miami. The multi-modal concession uses the second availability payment scheme in Florida and the U.S.