Recently the Citizens of Lehigh Acres have heard negative things about Florida Governmental Utility Authority (FGUA) – Believe me things are about to get much worse –---
In a recent press release FGUA finally admitted the following –“On the water side, consumptive demand exceeded permitted treatment capacity in 2005.” and “On the wastewater side, the authority initially believed wastewater treatment capacity was sufficient through 2008. But growth has outpaced projections and in fiscal (year) 2005 the wastewater treatment plant exceeded its permitted flow capacity.”
When the FGUA was questioned about capacity earlier this year at a public board meeting they refused to comment on capacity and stated NO conveyance agreements on capacity where issued – but we know now that this was a smoke screen – FGUA has issued up to five different letters conveying they have capacity to developers – so who is blowing the smoke screen – FGUA telling the developers they have capacity or the FGUA on this press release stating they have exceeded permitted treatment capacity in 2005 to their investors. (The press release that I’m quoting from is from the Fitch Rating www.fitchratings.com
a rating company that rates bonds.)
Fitch Rating assigned an 'A-' rating to Florida Governmental Utility Authority (FGUA) (Lehigh Utility System), FL's approximately $25 million utility revenue bonds, series 2005, and affirms the 'A-' rating on approximately $42.3 million outstanding debt. The series 2005 bonds are scheduled to sell on Dec. 5 via negotiation to Banc of America Securities LLC and UBS Financial Services, Inc. (Note: Bonds rated B or below are not investment grade -- in other words, institutions that invest other people's money may not buy them under most state laws.)
On the other hand, if growth has outpaced projections as stated above – then why is our Lee County Commissioners John E Albion (www.johnealbion.com
) & Chairwoman Tammy Hall (www.tammyhall.org
) allowing developers in Lehigh Acres to speed up growth and putting in over 7500 new homes in the next 5 years without increasing the needed infrastructure such as roads, schools, sidewalks, officers and etc. Why are the Commissioners destroying the lands needed for commercial development and turning the lands into residential planned developments – does Lehigh Acres need any more single family housing?? How about affordable family housing? How about commercial nodes throughout Lehigh Acres?
If FGUA needs money to pay for water and wastewater lines to all of the new 7500 homes in residential planned developments when why not increase impact fees to cover growth – since growth needs to pay for growth and stop harming the current rate payers with high water and sewer bills.
The Lehigh Acres Watchdog did a email survey on Nov 21st – 23rd about FGUA and received a better than average return – you now can see the results of the survey at www.lehighacreswatchdog.com
Robert J Anderson
Lehigh Acres Watchdog, Inc