WOODBURY - LIPA trustees today approved its 2014 operating budget in the last meeting before the utility turns over almost complete control to PSEG on Jan. 1.

Officials say the $3.5 billion spending plan includes $915 million in new borrowing. That includes $460 million for refinancing old debt and $455 million for improvements to the system as well as start-up costs for PSEG.

Trustees project that LIPA will end nearly $8 billion in the red next year, one of the highest debt levels in its 15-year history.

Over the past 15 years, LIPA officials say they've been trying to pay off their old debt while investing about $4 billion in the utility's infrastructure.