Garden State Preservation Trust

(Ongoing Engagement)


The Garden State Presentation Trust (GSPT) is an agency of the State of New Jersey, created by an act of the state legislature. The Trust's role is to approve all expenditures by the state agencies managing land preservation programs in New Jersey, and to provide these agencies with bond funding during an accelerated 10-year period.

Evergreen was retained by the Trust in 2002 to advise its staff on the use of installment purchase agreements to acquire land and easements. Mr. O'Connell reviewed the Trust's enabling legislation as well as legal documentation developed in connection with the Trust's $1.15 billion in bonds to make recommendations regarding how an installment purchase program might be structured. Mr. O'Connell identified two opportunities for the Trust, one entailing entering into installment purchase agreements on behalf of state agencies acquiring land and easements, and the second serving as a conduit for local governments seeking to acquire land or easements.

In the summer of 2005, Evergreen organized a conference for GSPT's board, attended by public-and private-sector representatives from across the state, to examine the use of IPAs in New Jersey and to recommend changes in policies and law to facilitate their additional use.

In November 2005, Evergreen served as financial advisor for GSPT's issuance of $209.6 million of Open Space and Farmland Preservation Refunding Bonds. With only refunding bonds allowed, the GSPT was seeking to minimize the Trust's debt service until 2010, when the funding for preservation projects ends.

The 2005C Bonds, sold through a negotiated sale, refunded certain maturities of bonds issued in 2003. For the remaining proceeds, Evergreen proposed an innovative structure that refunded interest (but not principal) on selected maturities of the 2003 Bonds not refunded. This structure allowed the GSPT to realize over $4 million of additional short-term funding for preservation projects across the state.

Evergreen assisted the GSPT and the State Treasurer's Office in their dealings with the Joint Budget Oversight Committee; worked closely with the Attorney General's Office, bond counsel and the senior manager in reviewing the State's disclosure in the official statement; monitored the performance of the senior manager and underwriting syndicate; coordinated preparation of a verification report with the verification agent; and prepared and submitted subscriptions for the escrow securities (SLGS) to the Bureau of Public Debt.

References:
Mr. Ralph Siegel
Executive Director
Garden State Preservation Trust
135 West Hanover Street, P.O. Box 750
Trenton, NJ 08625
T: (609) 984-4600
email:

Ms. Susan E. Craft
Executive Director
State Agricultural Development Committee
New Jersey Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 330
Trenton, New Jersey 08625
T: (609) 292-7988
e-mail: