Newport MUD November 2019 Bond Authorization Results

During the November election cycle, Newport residents voted down a bond authorization of $70,000,000.  With strong early voting turnout and a high representation at the polls on November 5th, the measure was defeated 591 to 479 against, a margin of only 112 votes.  The Board of Directors of Newport MUD were encouraged to see 1,070 of their neighbors cast votes in this important election regardless of the result.

During the three months prior to early voting, in an effort to engage the residents in an ongoing education campaign, the Board of Directors consistently presented two options to the voters:

  1. To utilize the proposed bond authorization and allow the District to fund these large projects by borrowing money over time as needed with long term bonds; or
  2. to “pay as you go”, a shorthand way of explaining the concept of funding the projects through higher water and sewer rates.

It is clear with the votes cast in the November election that residents of Newport preferred to fund through higher rates on their monthly water bill vs. the option of financing it through long-term bond sales and debt service through property taxes. To that end, after consulting with the financial advisor and district engineer on the most urgent projects, the board elected to add a $35.00 Capital Base Rate (CBR) line item to the water bill.  This will allow the MUD to begin setting aside funds that would otherwise have been provided by the issuance of municipal bonds. The CBR’s purpose is to raise funds to pay for these projects as needed, and should the residents of Newport approve bonds at some time in the future, it would be eliminated in favor of financing with bonds.

As the board moves forward and considers its next steps, we invite residents to participate in two upcoming community engagement events. These events will be held on Monday, November 25,2019 (11/25) Monday, December 9th, 2019 (12/9) and Monday, December 23rd, 2019 (12/23), at 6:30 pm. We strongly encourage residents of Newport to attend any or all of these meetings and provide their input as to the best next steps to address future needs of the district over the next 7-10 years. We will have directors and some of our experts on hand to answer questions. Please note, the purpose of these events is to listen to the voters of the district; the Board members welcome all participation, whether for, against, or undecided about the Board’s policies. The Board of Directors earnestly wants to better understand their neighbors’ insight and feelings on how best to manage the District needs.