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Council OKs Bob Hope transit center funds

Airport authority will issue $90M in bonds for $130M Bob Hope project.

February 04, 2011|By Gretchen Meier,

A planned transit center for Bob Hope Airport got a $90-million boost this week after officials signed off on issuing the bond debt.

The Burbank City Council approved the bonds, which will be issued by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.

The bond debt — the majority of the intermodal transit center’s now-$130-million price tag — will be shouldered by the airport authority separately from its member cities.

“The issuer of these bonds will be the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority,” said Wesley Hough, director of Public Resources Advisory Group, a financial advisor for the airport. “However, that does not in any way affect the credit-worthiness of those three cities in the eyes of Wall Street or investors in these bonds.”


The transportation hub will consolidate rental car facilities and bus transit on the current airport property, and include a covered moving walkway to the airport terminal. The project will also include the second compressed natural gas fueling station in Burbank.

The debt for the bonds will be reimbursed through a customer facility charge — included in each rental customer transaction — and a charge assessed by the authority on the rental car companies, according to airport officials.

The remaining funds needed for the transportation center, a projected $40 million at this point, will be contributed by the authority and be budgeted over the time of the project, said airport spokesman Victor Gill.

“Approximately $35 million will come from passenger facility fees, a little over $1 million from federal grant money and $4 million from airport authority reserve funds,” Gill said.

The airport authority will discuss where each pool of money will go during upcoming finance meetings.

The lone voice of dissent on the dais for the bond issuance was Councilman David Gordon, who voted against the approval of the transportation center when it was first brought to City Council.

“The project is rather large,” he said. “We just heard in excess of $130 million, and I felt that it was a component of a much larger development to the airport — piecemealing if you will. I did not support it then, and I will not support it now.”

The airport authority expects the 30-year bonds to go to market mid-year. Airport executive director Dan Feger thanked the council for its “solid support” of the transit center after the bonds were approved.

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