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    Keeping Up the PACE: Ohio’s Second PACE Bond Issue Closes

    Toledo, Ohio … Bricker & Eckler served as bond counsel for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority as it completed Ohio’s second Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) bond issue. Following the success of an initial bond issue through the Northwest Ohio Bond Fund in May 2012 in the amount of $5.325 million, the second bond issue closed in October 2012 in the amount of $6.435 million. These transactions continue a cooperative effort between the port authority’s BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio (BBNWO) program and the Toledo Ohio Advanced Energy Improvement Corporation. The closing of the October bond transaction, along with the closing of the May bond transaction, brings the total funding for these initiatives to nearly $12 million on a total project value of $20 million.

    Ohio’s second PACE bond issue funded 11 separate projects, with an additional $800,000 reserved for projects set to begin soon. This round of funding will be used to install energy efficiency upgrades on nine area buildings and to install two large solar arrays for a mix of governmental, nonprofit and commercial properties. To date, more than 50 area buildings have seen energy efficiency improvements resulting in energy savings of up to 60 percent, generally averaging 20-40 percent.

    PACE bonds are a financial tool used by property owners to fund energy efficiency improvements on their properties. Property owners who take advantage of PACE funding opportunities may use the money for a variety of projects, including updating existing office buildings or warehouses, or acquiring an alternative energy source, like solar panels or wind turbines.

    PACE is also a useful tool for municipalities, school districts, counties and townships. These types of governmental entities can use PACE funding for significant amounts of deferred maintenance or to update or supplement their power sources. A properly structured PACE financing transaction can provide capital to public entities without impacting certain local debt limitations.

    Bricker & Eckler is Ohio’s leader in PACE financing. Bricker attorneys can work with private property owners and governmental entities to create the special improvement district necessary to implement PACE financing, to levy assessments and to structure the financing arrangements necessary to fund the improvements.

    For more information on PACE assessments and financing for you or your community, contact J. Caleb Bell at jbell@bricker.com.