City of El Paso, Texas, is likely to issue an RFP toward the end of this year or early 2006 for an investment bank to underwrite a potential $200 million pension obligation bond offering, according to William Studer, assistant city manager. The proceeds would go toward improving the funding status of the city's $570 million police and fire pension fund, which is underfunded by about $250 million.
"If we do a POB, the earliest it would be is in the first quarter" of 2006, Mr. Studer said.
Mayor John Cook said in an interview that he would like any RFP to include potential funding for the city's capital projects. "My preference would be that we issue a hybrid RFQ-RFP, asking some of the major people in the industry to come and look at all of our debt - capital improvements we have planned, what we should do about our existing debt and unfunded pension liabilities," Mr. Cook said. Final decisions rest with the city council.