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AHH 24-Hr. News

New Jersey School Choice Week Starts Today
Monday, 26 January 2015
420 Events Across Garden State TRENTON, NJ – School Choice Week starts today in New Jersey and across America. Throughout the Week, which runs until January 31, there will be 420 school choice events across the Garden State. The events are part of... Read More...
IMAGE Monmouth University’s Science, Society, and Sustainability Seminar Series Presents Governor Florio on February 3
Sunday, 25 January 2015
Former Governor James J. Florio will speak at Monmouth University Feb. 3 West Long Branch, N.J. - Monmouth University’s Science, Sustainability, and Society Series, sponsored by the School of Science and Urban Coast Institute, presents a... Read More...
IMAGE Call for Entries - Monmouth County Park System 2015 Spring Arts Festival
Sunday, 25 January 2015
PICTURED –This carved rim bowl is an example of the artwork created at the Thompson Park Creative Arts Center. LINCROFT —  Calling all artists!  There’s still time to submit an entry into the Monmouth County Park System’s Spring... Read More...
IMAGE "If You Can See It, You Can Be It!" Contest Open to Students Grade 1-5
Sunday, 25 January 2015
Students in grades 1 – 5 called to create and submit characters that will star in an animated cartoon short to raise awareness of gender stereotypes in media.  Fair Haven, NJ – Small Factory Productions invites students... Read More...
IMAGE BSA Troop 32 Honors Two New Eagle Scouts - Jablonski, Katzgrau
Sunday, 25 January 2015
PHOTO: Middletown Boy Scout Troop 32 honors its Newest Eagle Scouts. From left: Timothy Katzgrau and Andrew Jablonski, both of Middletown. Middletown, New Jersey – Boy Scouts of America Troop 32’s leadership, scouts, friends, and family... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE What’s that Flock in the Bay?
by Joe Reynolds
Sunday, 25 January 2015
This was a week of counting wintering water-birds. The other day I looked out onto New York Harbor and saw a large raft of diving ducks. I counted at... Read More...
IMAGE Just Sayin...
by Anne Mikolay
Sunday, 25 January 2015
While watching this month's news broadcasts, I have concluded the world is steeped in irony. This tendency to fore-go common sense and do the... Read More...
IMAGE Father Trying to Build Understanding
by Daniel J. Vance
Saturday, 24 January 2015
You won't find too many dads that love like this. Joseph Hernandez of Auburn, Washington, knew before his son's birth that his son would have a birth... Read More...
IMAGE My Encounters with Police Officers
by George Hancock-Stefan
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
During the past few months when there has been so much discussion about police officers, I started to think a lot about how I view police officers,... Read More...
IMAGE An Untold Story - Part 1
by Daniel Murphy
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
This is a subject that I have not written or talked about before.  Some people, I am sure, will be looking at me as if I have finally lost a bit... Read More...

Upcoming Events

jack_archibald_120The rebuilding of the Atlantic Highlands harbor is one of the largest public works projects in Atlantic Highlands history.  On a financial scale, only the rebuild after the Nor’easter of 1992 and the building of borough hall can compare.  Not only is the scale of the project enormous, but the boating season deadline adds to the challenge.

Those loyal readers of this column have been well versed in the timeline and scope of the project.  Finally, the means to fund the clean up and rebuild have come into greater focus. With a price tag of in the neighborhood of twenty million dollars including the cleanup, the financing is a not insignificant factor throughout the story.

This past Wednesday, the borough of Atlantic Highlands sold Bond Anticipation Notes in the amount of $8 million as the first leg of the project.  (The amount of BANS earmarked for the Harbor was $7 million with the additional $1 million BAN a rollover of sewer BANS)  Due to state requirements regarding timing, the borough could not sell an additional $9.7 million BANS for the project, but the interest rate that the borough received for our notes was the best possible scenario.  Unlike bonds, a Bond Anticipation Note is a one year maturity that can be rolled over for several years until a decision is made regarding permanent financing – either pay off the BANS or sell long term bonds.

Atlantic Highlands received an interest rate of 0.75% from Wells Fargo Bank.  Similar issues in the market had come at higher interest rates, and by all accounts, Wells Fargo stepped up to the plate with their rate.  The key issue for most investors, is how secure is the source of repayment for the notes.  Due to the amazing effort of our borough and harbor professional staff, the project work sheet submitted to FEMA is close to $20 million dollars.  We have received verbal assurances from FEMA officials that our project will be funded at 75%, if not 90%- and that will account for the majority of the repayment. 

Additionally, the borough has a business interruption policy for the Harbor as well. In a great piece of foresight attributable to former Mayor Mike Harmon, the borough has had this policy in place since the Nor’easter of 1992.  Until Sandy, the borough has never had to utilize this policy, and it will also be used to repay the Bond Anticipation Notes.  It is safe to say that most municipalities do not carry this type of insurance, and Atlantic Highlands is fortunate to have funded this policy over the years.

Finally, the Mayor and Council always have the ability to raise the rates on the leases in the Harbor.  While that is not currently contemplated, bond investors like to see an additional means of covering debt service, and this certainly gave investors further comfort when bidding our notes.   Next month, the borough will sell our second and final leg of notes for the Harbor.  If Wednesday’s sale can be replicated, the initial financing of the harbor rebuild will be considered a success.