The Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors received a positive financial health check-up for the district this week. At their committee meetings Tuesday, they received a monitoring report on Board Policy: Strategic Directive (SD) 3 - Access to Credit Markets.
For OPPD’s annual budgets, the board establishes a minimum total debt service coverage ratio of two times. Debt service coverage is revenues less expenses, divided by the total annual senior and subordinate lien debt interest and principal payments. OPPD has maintained this ratio for the past five years and is on-track to meet the goal, again, for 2019.
Debt to asset ratio, days’ liquidity, and competitive position with regards to retail rates are among other factors considered.
With regards to rates, OPPD continues to honor its commitment of no general rate increases for five years, through 2021. The latest figures compiled from the Energy Information Administration show that OPPD’s rates are 14.9% below the national average and 8.7% below the regional average.
Based on these and other factors, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s give OPPD an Aa2 and AA, respectively, in their latest ratings released within this past month. These ratings are among the highest ratings a public power utility can receive.
After reviewing the SD-3 monitoring report, the board accepted it at today’s monthly board meeting. Acceptance means they found OPPD to be sufficiently in compliance with this policy.
In other actions, directors:
- Authorized the use of eminent domain proceedings, as necessary, to acquire temporary and permanent easements for utility crossings on railroad property during the 2019 calendar year.
- Awarded a labor contract to Integrated Power Co., in the amount of $2,311,125.64, for construction services to erect and assemble equipment for a Sarpy County substation. This contract includes construction of steel supports with insulators, breakers, switches, measurement and metering equipment, and wiring.
- Authorized OPPD to reject proposals for aluminum conductor steel supported (ACSS) conductor for the Sarpy Transmission project, and instead, enter into a negotiated contract with an acceptable vendor. The bids received were determined to be legally non-responsive as they contained exceptions to Terms and Conditions. Construction of the line will begin in early June and conclude by December, with conductor delivery to take place in July.
- Received the president’s monthly utility report. You can view this report after it is posted by visiting com/boardmeeting.
Change to committee meetings’ start time
Beginning in May, the public portion of board committee meetings will start at 10 a.m. on the Tuesday before each monthly board meeting, as opposed to 8:30 a.m. During committee meetings, strategic directives, reporting items, and action items requiring a vote, are discussed in-depth.
If a closed session is needed, the board committee meetings generally will begin at 8:30 a.m., with a vote to go into closed session. The public portion of the meeting will continue beginning at 10 a.m. Closed session discussions, during which the board and executive team discuss sensitive information, such as personnel and legal matters, have traditionally been held after committee meetings.
There may be months where this process is changed, but any such change will be addressed in the official public notice for the meeting.
The public portion of next month’s board committee meetings will start at 10 a.m. It is not known at this time whether there will be a closed session preceding the public part of the meeting, Tuesday, May 14.
The monthly board meeting will be Thursday, May 16, at 4 p.m. Both meetings will take place at OPPD’s Energy Plaza, 444 S. 16th St., Omaha.
These meetings are livestreamed at oppd.com as part of the district’s commitment to transparency, while making public meetings accessible and convenient for our customer-owners.
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