Big dam boondoggle | Arkansas Blog

Big dam boondoggle

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Note to North Little Rock: I'm pretty sure that when you refinance a bond issue due to be paid off in three years by floating a new 10-year bond issue to pay off hydro plant costs (as the North Little Rock City Council did yesterday), it will cost a good deal more money cumulatively in the long haul, even if the interest rates are lower. Electric rates may not increase to carry that new interest cost, but they sure won't go down from the added expense. Every extra dollar in interest will, however, reduce the amount of electric company profit devoted to other city expenses in the form of electric rates' hidden tax on ratepayers.

What I'd like to see is a pencil put to the entire hydro project over time — all the repairs, all the months of inability to generate power, all the costs and interest compared against power sales against what the power would otherwise have cost from wholesale suppliers. Might be a heckuva deal. Somehow ....

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