Bridge concept for California Public Finance

California Case Study 05

Town of

The Town of Yountville first engaged Columbia Capital in 2013 to assist it in financing a seismic renovation to its historic Town Hall. Although Columbia proposed a straightforward abatement lease structure, the plan of finance was complicated by rating agencies' review of seismic risks.

Two agencies would not provide a rating if the Town Hall was used as collateral, due to its pre-renovation seismic condition, but the Town did not have sufficient unencumbered assets to use as alternate collateral. The Town decided to use Fitch Ratings on the bonds due to its less restrictive seismic assessment of lease credits. Columbia assisted the Town in offering the bonds via competitive sale in January 2013. The offering achieved the Town's financing goals and produced a competitive all-in borrowing rate.

More recently, Columbia Capital advised the Town on the issuance of its Lease Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2017. The purpose of this issue was the advance refunding of the Town’s 2008 Lease Revenue Bonds for savings. Columbia assisted the Town in offering the bonds via competitive sale in September 2017. The offering generated five bids and exceeded the savings goals of the Town.

In both cases, Columbia developed a comprehensive rating agency presentation to provide an in-depth introduction to a community that relies heavily on tourism revenues derived from a small number of hotels and restaurants. In September 2017, the Town achieved an S&P issuer rating of AA+. Columbia also provides on-going post-issuance compliance services to Yountville.