Paulding County

Dallas, Georgia, United States

Paulding County (County) is located in the Atlanta Metro Area and has an estimated population of 148,000. Water service is provided to approximately 43,000 customers through a network of distribution infrastructure. Potable water is currently purchased on a wholesale basis from the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority (CCMWA). The Richland Creek Water Supply Project will supplement the current wholesale water purchase and eventually supply up to 35 million gallons per day (MGD) of the County’s long-term (50-year) need of 53 MGD supporting a population of 500,000. The project will also help reduce overall dependence on Lake Allatoona as the regional source for drinking water.

Raftelis was engaged by the County to conduct a detailed examination and evaluation of the Richland Creek Water Supply Project to determine the most advantageous strategy for financing and delivering the project. The major components of the analysis included the determination of a capital financing plan and development of an economic forecast model. The capital financing plan examined both traditional methods of public financing as well as opportunities associated with alternative private financing approaches. Ultimately, Raftelis identified an optimal capital financing plan that was consistent with the County’s financial goals and objectives. The economic forecast model included a long-term projection of revenue requirements for the Richland Creek Water Supply Project under various capital planning alternatives related to the size of the treatment facility and configuration of the transmission system. Various economic evaluation criteria were calculated including, in particular, the net present value (NPV) and average annual unit cost for each capital planning alternative. These economic metrics provided an understandable approach which considered the differences in the timing and size of capital investments and supported the recommendation of a preferred approach for the Richland Creek Water Supply Project.

Raftelis also prepared a bond feasibility report for the County for a revenue bond issuance associated with the Richland Creek Water Supply Project. The report included a financial forecast of revenues, operating expenses and capital expenditures, as well as an opinion regarding compliance with existing bond covenants as it relates to debt service coverage. The bonds were successfully sold, and the Richland Creek Water Supply Project is largely complete. The County expects to produce water from the new facilities in 2021.