Friday, December 12, 2008

Cash available for CRRA purchase of facility?

The MRJ did a piece on the Wallingford-based trash disposal facility. And the NHRs Luther Turmelle reports that CRRA wants to buy the facility by March.

But I'm still trying to figure out who "owns" it. And in order to do so, I breezed through CRRAs June 30, 2007 financial statements. Best I can tell, the $1 bargain purchase option means that Covanta has been operating under a capital lease for twenty years and the plant is about to belong to them. But that part is fairly straightforward accounting.

The tricky part for me is reading CRRAs financials and determining if the cash in their financials belongs to CRRA... or is it made of various arrangements, one of which is the $50 million kitty that's supposedly about to be returned to the towns?

In reading the beginning of the financials, I can't tell the ownership of the cash... though it certainly seems that CRRA (not the towns) owns the plant. But if you read down to page 38, there's some discussion on "project / landfill closure costs."

That seems to me to be information on potential costs related to an eventual shutdown of CRRA projects, including Wallingford. And I understand the $50 million kitty to include several million dollars for closing the Wallingford facility.

So on the one hand, it seems we're being told that the $50 million returns to the five towns. But on the other hand, it seems this money is being characterized as belonging to CRRA... at least in that particular footnote.

But without sitting down with the accountants and reading the agreements, I doubt I can get a real firm understanding of this situation... and be able to determine if CRRA actually has the money to buy the Wallingford facility by the December 31 deadline... which is what I'm wondering - does CRRA have the cash available to purchase the facility?

And to add to the confusion, check out the first page of CRRAs financials. CRRA is described as "A Component Unit of the State of Connecticut."

What the heck does that mean?!

Tim White

No comments: