March 23, 2011 5:35 PM
Brooke Edwards

VICTORVILLE • The city is expected to come up between $2 million and $3 million short in making its debt payment for Southern California Logistics Airport, relying on reserves in its redevelopment agency to cover the gap.

But that funding source is also precarious, as Gov. Jerry Brown pursues a state budget that calls for eliminating redevelopment agencies altogether.

“My understanding is that we have enough money using RDA funds — assuming that they’re not taken from us by the state — to cover this year and next year,” Mayor Ryan McEachron said, when asked about the shortfall in revenue. “After that, unless things change, there may be some problem.”

The SCLA Authority has more than $325 million in outstanding bond debt, according to Victorville’s recently released audit for the 2009-10 fiscal year. The city’s annual payment on the non-housing debt is $18 million.

However, a report from consultant Rosenow Spevacek Group predicts Victorville will only receive $15.7 million in non-housing tax increment by the end of the fiscal year, while a report from San Bernardino County estimates the revenue will be closer to $14.7 million.

To qualify for investment-grade bonds, municipalities have to maintain at least a 1.25 debt coverage ratio, meaning they are taking in revenues equal to 125 percent or more of their debt payments.

Given the projected numbers, SCLAA’s debt coverage ratio will be between 0.82 and 0.87, meaning it’s only taking in 82 to 87 percent of the cash needed to cover its debts.

For more, read Thursday’s Daily Press. Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.