Lower Taxes and Water Should be Top Priorities
In 1984, Castle Pines North (CPN) was a small community of about 300 homes and the CPN Metropolitan District (CPNMD) was established to provide water and wastewater and to maintain parks, trails and open spaces for the new community. Soon after, the economy experienced a dramatic slowdown (sound familiar?) and CPNMD was unable to generate sufficient tax revenue to stay current with their general obligation bonds.
In 1989, CPNMD became insolvent, and was also faced with relatively high borrowing costs related to unrealistic home sales projections. In 1993, the community reached an agreement to reorganize the outstanding bond debt. The agreement provided for a predictable schedule of limited mill levies and an extended bond repayment period. CPNMD at that time was obligated to pay back $60 million of outstanding debt. At the beginning of 2006, approximately $31 million of outstanding debt remained. That exiting debt was restructured and restrictive bond covenants were removed.
CPN should be grateful to CPNMD Manager Jim McGrady for his efforts in removing the restrictive bond covenants. This event made it possible to issue new debt which was precluded as a result of the 1994 restrictive bond covenants. From 2006 to 2008, CPNMD prepaid a substantial portion of debt without incurring any penalties for such prepayment. While still mired in debt, CPNMD has been paying approximately $1 million each year in regularly scheduled principal payments.
Apparently CPNMD’s philosophy is to payoff its debt as quickly as possible so that taxes in CPN may be reduced. CPN is among the highest taxed communities in Douglas County. Long term planning and budget projections based in the Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP) have enhanced CPNMD’s ability to make water supply decisions and to identify progressive solutions that are compatible with needs and values of the community. Projected cost of renewable water is estimated to be $60-$70 million. Replenishing our water supply should be our number one priority facing CPN Homeowners.
The Hamlet, Castle Pines North