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District Completes Financing for New Public Safety Communications Center

Thursday, July 24, 2003

District Completes Financing for New Public Safety Communications Center

The District of Columbia sold $71,455,000 of Certificates of Participation at an overall interest cost of 5.10 percent, including insurance and the cost of issuance.

(Washington, DC) The District of Columbia sold $71,455,000 of Certificates of Participation (COP) today at an overall interest cost of 5.10 percent, including insurance and the cost of issuance. The 20-year COP was rated “AAA” by both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, based on bond insurance to be provided by Ambac, Inc. The underlying rating on the certificates is “BBB+” from both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

The proceeds of this financing will be used to construct the District’s Unified Communications Center, a secure, nation-class, 911 and 311 call center and multi-jurisdictional emergency response facility. This sale will also support the buildout of a state-of-the-art fiber-optic telecommunications network for the District’s public safety and emergency preparedness functions, intra-governmental communications, information technology services, and high-speed distance learning and Internet access for public schools.

“This is a banner day for public safety in the District of Columbia,” said Chief Technology Officer Suzanne Peck. “The COP funding will allow the District to complete our nation-class 911 emergency response center and will provide the remaining funding for an ultra high speed network. Together, these two initiatives will dramatically improve the reliability and capacity of the District’s emergency preparedness and response systems.”

District Treasurer N. Anthony Calhoun added, “We put together a financing package that was attractive to the market and preserves our general obligation debt capacity for other capital projects. Our successful sale today ensures that the construction of this important public safety facility moves forward.”

Underwriters for the COP financing were Siebert Brandford Shank & Co. as senior manager and Citigroup as co-senior manager. Goldman Sachs & Co. and MR Beal & Company served as co-managers.