Olympia's Bond Rating Upgraded to A+
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|Date of Release:||July 24, 2007|
Jane Ragland Kirkemo
Olympia's Bond Rating Upgraded to A+(Olympia, WA) Standard & Poor's (S&P) rating agency has increased Olympia's water utility bond rating from A to A+. According to S&P, the favorable rating is due to the City's track record of strong financial performance, manageable water and sewer capital needs, and pay-as-you-go financing.
"I am very pleased with the A+ rating," says Jane Ragland Kirkemo, Olympia's Administrative Services Director. "The rating reflects both the City's strong financial practices and S&P's assessment of Olympia's stable economy," says Kirkemo. According to Kirkemo, this is the first time Olympia has received an upgrade for its utility debt.
The City sought a rating from S&P prior to issuing $8 million in debt for various water utility system improvements. The Olympia City Council is expected to accept the low bid at tonight's meeting.
"We received excellent bids with interest rates ranging from 4.1% to 4.29%," says Kirkemo. "I attribute the excellent results, in part, to our A+ S& P rating."
Kirkemo, City Manager Steve Hall, and Water Utility Director Rich Hoey visited with Standard & Poor's earlier this month and touted the City's drinking water quality, tiered utility rate structure, long-term system and financial planning, 10% fund reserves, and innovative services. "The rating agency was very complimentary about our wise utility stewardship and forwarding-thinking policies," says Kirkemo.
According to Hoey, the bond proceeds will fund some critical water system improvements identified in Olympia's Water System Plan. The projects include water system security upgrades, replacement of two aging storage reservoirs, development of a new well and booster pump station, and acquisition of land for a new storage reservoir. "We're very happy with the lower interest rate," says Hoey. "It helps save money for our utility customers."