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9 posts from May 2010


City Announces Sale of Bonds to Fund Wastewater System Improvements

City Announces Sale of Bonds to Fund Wastewater System Improvements Sale of $240 million in wastewater revenue bonds to improve sewage infrastructure, create jobs, and save city ratepayers $88 million over the next 30 years

Today, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the successful sale of $239,565,000 of bonds by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s (SFPUC) to continue critical improvements to the City’s sewer system. As compared to the longer-term cost of borrowing assumptions, more than $88.3 million in savings will be realized over the life of the bonds sold. The bonds will fund wastewater capital improvement projects directed at increasing seismic and system reliability, reducing neighborhood flooding, and odor control improvements at facilities such as the 50-year-old aging Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant.  

“San Francisco’s continuing investment in our aging water and sewer infrastructure has provided employment for many at a time when construction jobs are scarce,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “The savings realized today will help stretch dollars further to fund even more critical improvements to protect public health and the environment.”

The savings gained from the bonds sold can be attributed to extremely favorable market conditions as well as improved bond credit ratings for the SFPUC issued by Standard and Poor’s (S&P). Bond credit ratings provide guidance to potential investors in debt securities such as bonds. Similar to a personal credit rating, as bond ratings increase the perceived risk to investors decreases, which results in lower borrowing costs. Moody’s and S&P are internationally recognized as two of the top credit rating providers in the world. S&P, on May 6, upgraded the SFPUC’s wastewater credit rating from A+ to AA-. Moody’s Investors Services changed the SFPUC’s rating from A2 to Aa3, following its April recalibration of municipal ratings to a global scale.

Mayor Praises Unions and Announces Tentative Agreement with Transit Workers

Mayor Newsom Praises Unions and Announces Tentative Agreement with Transit Workers Mayor, SFMTA Also Reach Tentative Framework Agreement with TWU 250-A That Will Roll Back Muni Service Cuts Beginning September 2010

As he prepares to submit a balanced budget to the Board of Supervisors next Tuesday, June 1, Mayor Gavin Newsom today met with leaders of the Public Employees Committee (PEC) unions and thanked them for stepping up to help close the City’s projected $483 million shortfall. Joined by San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Executive Director & CEO Nathaniel Ford, Mayor Newsom also announced that the City had reached a tentative framework of an agreement with Transit Workers Union (TWU) 250-A that would roll back recently introduced Muni service cuts.

“I want to thank our public employee unions for once again being active partners in balancing the budget while saving jobs and services,” said Mayor Newsom. “Your commitment to give back wages these next two years will protect our social safety net for the most vulnerable San Franciscans and preserve thousands of jobs.”


Mayor Newsom Signs Job-Creating Economic Stimulus Legislation

Mayor Newsom Signs Job-Creating Economic Stimulus Legislation San Francisco, CA — Mayor Gavin Newsom today signed legislation to stimulate development and generate much-needed construction jobs and General Fund revenues. The Development Impact Fee Reform & Deferral Program is a 2-part impact fee reform legislation re-designing how and when development impact fees are paid.

“The fee deferment legislation will radically simplify the collection, enforcement and notice procedures for all city development impact fees,” said Mayor Newsom. “Deferring upfront costs for developers will speed local economic recovery, generating construction jobs and general fund revenues.”

The legislation would infuse a cumulative total of $894 million in spending and almost 4,800 construction-related jobs into the local economy. Furthermore, if start dates are accelerated by two years, the City would receive over $22M of additional General Fund property tax revenues that would otherwise be lost due to later start-times and lower property values.

The Development Impact Fee Reform & Deferral Program allows developers to defer payment of 80% of their impact fees from the beginning of construction to just prior to completion, between 10-30 months. The fee deferment decreases the amount of up-front costs to be financed through debt or equity, and in turn reduces the amount of interest paid over the construction period.

The legislation also includes good government measures to streamline impact fee collection and  enforcement, create a “one-stop” fee payment shop in the City’s Department of Building Inspection (DBI) and improve public notice and transparency.

An independent study commissioned by the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) concluded that the combined economic benefits of the Fee Deferral Program and the Affordable Housing Transfer Fee program (pending at the Board), would result in the following benefits:
   •  Accelerating estimated construction start dates by 6 to 30 months.
   •  Decreasing construction interest carrying costs by 8% to 22%.
   •  Decreasing avg. price/rents needed to attract equity and financing.

The Mayor today also announced the introduction of the next phase of stimulus legislation to form a Citywide Mello-Roos Community Facilities District (CFD) to finance Infrastructure Impact Fees. The legislation would reduce the upfront costs of new development by allowing developers to finance infrastructure-related development impact fees with tax-exempt bonds. It would also streamline the process for annexing into a Citywide CFD. Joining a CFD allows developers to spread the cost of infrastructure over the life of their project, thereby removing these costs from up-front private financing and improving each project’s access to equity.


Mayor Newsom's Weekly Video Update

Mayor Newsom's Weekly Video Update - May 17, 2010In this week's video update, Mayor Newsom discusses Bayer HealthCare's location of its US Innovation Center at Mission Bay, labor union concessions and ratifications to protect jobs and services, Governor Schwarzenegger's May Revised budget cuts and SF summer youth opportunities

Watch now on YouTube


Mayor Celebrates American Debut of Impressionist Masterpieces

de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom today welcomed the United States debut of Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay, on view at the de Young Museum May 22 to September 6, 2010.  The exhibition includes nearly 100 paintings from the Musée d’Orsay’s permanent collection and highlights the work of 37 artists including William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Courbet, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and James McNeill Whistler.

“San Francisco is proud to host this impressionist blockbuster from the Musée d'Orsay in Paris,” said Mayor Newsom. “The exhibit is sure to leave a lasting impression on all visitors.” The Musée d’Orsay is lending its most beloved paintings while it undergoes a partial closure for refurbishment and reinstallation in anticipation of the museum’s 25th anniversary in 2011.  Birth of Impressionism will be followed in the fall of 2010 by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post–Impressionist Masterpieces  from the Musée d’Orsay.  The de Young will be the only museum in the world to host both exhibitions.