A meeting to determine whether the Erie County, N.Y., Fiscal Stability Authority or the county itself would sell $84 million of bond anticipation notes for capital projects ended yesterday without a final decision, but the authority was expected to be chosen to sell the debt.
"Roughly looking at it ,I'd say the authority is more cost effective," county budget director Greg Gach said. Under an agreement between the county and its control board, whoever could sell the Bans more cheaply would do so.
The higher-rated control board presented cost estimates using Roosevelt & Cross Inc. as an underwriter while county Comptroller Mark Poloncarz presented estimates using Citi as an underwriter.
While the control board's numbers showed savings, the county asked the comptroller's office for some additional information, which was expected to be provided by the end of the day yesterday.
"My guess is that once we get all those numbers, Roosevelt & Cross and the authority will be cheaper by an excess of $100,000," Gach said.
The debt sale, which could go ahead by the end the month, would end an acrimonious stalemate that has gone on for more than a year and delayed some capital projects.
Phillips Lytle LLP is bond counsel to the authority and Capital Markets Advisors LLC is its financial adviser.
County Executive Chris Collins has said that he will never allow the control board to issue bonds because that would extend its life to match the bonds' maturity.
Neither the authority nor the county can borrow without the other giving its approval. Gach said the county expected to issue mirror Bans to the authority.
"That would give us the latitude a year from now to decide who takes out the Bans," Gach said.
Moody's Investors Service rates the county Baa2 with a stable outlook. Standard & Poor's rates it BBB-plus and Fitch Ratings assigns it BBB-minus rating. Moody's rates the Fiscal Stability Authority Aa2 and Fitch has given the authority an implied AA rating.