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By - Oliver Walling on 8/28/2014 1:10 PM
In July the Local Finance Board issued Local Finance Notice 2014-9 "Secondary Bond Market - Continuing Disclosure Commitments".  LFN 2014-9 reminds us that there are post issuance requirements with most fire district bond issues.  Typically, Official Statements have included a requirement that the issuer must file certain financial documents annually.  Failure to do the required filings can be detrimental to future bond issues.


Boards must file the required documents annually with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) utilizing the Electronic Municipal Market Access(EMMA) system.  Go to www.emma.msrb.org to learn more about how to use EMMA.  If you are not sure where your Official Statement is you can print it out from this site.  In the statement it will detail what the required annual disclosures are for your bond issue.  Typically it will require the annual audit, the current budget, and a financial fact sheet.


The Securities...
By - Oliver Walling on 8/22/2014 10:39 AM
The middle of August already.  It seems to be true that the older you get the quicker time passes.  And, as we get older we want it to slow down because we know what's there at the end!


I was talking with Rich Braslow, my legal counterpart of 30+ years, and we were saying how quiet things are.  The Legislature is up to its usual "how do we control fire districts" discussions.  It seems that soon we will have legislation similar to school boards where we have the option of switching to the November election and avoid the public vote on the budget.  Of course the big question here is, how will they handle multi-districts where district boundaries do not coincide with voter districts.  Another excuse to force consolidation?


Another audit concern is Local Finance Notice 2014-9, Secondary Bond Market Continuing Disclosure Commitments.  If you currently have any bonds issued you need to read LFN 2014-9.  Technically, the requirement is not new.  What's new is the enforcement.  Review your Official Statement and determine whether or not there are required annual filings and if so, are you in compliance?  Consult with your accountant or auditor now so you can be in compliance before the 2014 audit commences.  I discussed this with one auditor and he assured me that if we are not compliant by December 31, we will be written up.  Additionally,  the Division is considering adding a certification of compliance as part of the budget package like they did with the web site compliance.


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