WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia spent $397.7 million of bond funds on its capital improvements program through June 30, the end of the third quarter of its fiscal 2012, chief financial officer Natwar Gandhi announced in a quarterly report Monday.
The expenditures were $61.9 million less than in the same period of its fiscal 2011.
The bond funds, which come from a combination of general obligation debt, income tax-secured bonds, and grant anticipation revenue vehicles (Garvees), fell a bit more steeply than overall capital spending.
Total capital expenditures dipped $12.8 million from the first three quarters of fiscal 2011.
“In [fiscal] 2012, the primary management focus continues to be prevention of a worsening of the shortfall in the bond component of the fund and maintaining the balance between the timing of legally restricted borrowing limits and the ongoing expenditures of active capital projects,” the report said.
Fitch Ratings analyst Seth Lehman said that many of the district’s major infrastructure expenditures are either completed or nearing completion, and so the capital improvement program isn’t as needy as it was before.
“It’s kind of in a lower level than it was in years past,” he said.
Going forward, the district’s borrowing needs will likely continue to decline somewhat, said Lehman, though he added that sometimes a drop in bond financing can just be timing. Lehman said he hasn’t seen a major structural shift in the district’s debt practices.
The district will manage capital expenditures based on total expected fiscal 2012 revenue of $662.7 million, of which $611.9 million will be bond money, the CFO said.
“The district has to closely manage spending in [fiscal]2012 to ensure that it is not out of balance compared to revenues, while still maintaining a positive capital fund balance in the long term,” the report concludes.