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Bond refinancing saves $10.8 million for sewer utility ratepayers

Summary

King County today issued $65.4 million of sewer revenue bonds and $53.4 million of limited tax general obligation bonds at an average interest rate of 3.62 percent in order to refund $124 million of outstanding Wastewater Treatment Division debt.

Story

Sewer improvement projects that safeguard the environment, protect public health and support economic growth today got the added benefit of a lower price tag.

King County today issued $65.4 million of sewer revenue bonds and $53.4 million of limited tax general obligation bonds at an average interest rate of 3.62 percent in order to refund $124 million of outstanding Wastewater Treatment Division debt.  This refunding will save the utility about $10.8 million over the next 21 years. The Metropolitan King County Council voted unanimously to authorize the sale.

These savings reflect both the county’s and the utility’s strong credit ratings which were once again affirmed earlier this month.  

Standard & Poor’s assigned a AA rating to the utility’s sewer revenue bonds and AAA to the limited tax general obligation bonds, citing consistent financial performance, the County Council’s willingness to incrementally raise rates and connection charges, and an economy that retains strong underlying fundamentals despite a period of slow growth.  

Moody’s assigned an Aa2 rating to the utility's sewer revenue bonds and Aa1 to the limited tax general obligation bonds, based on the utility’s satisfactory debt service coverage, continued sound management practices, the system's large and economically diverse service area, and continued commitment to its capital improvement program.

The county is currently completing its most complex projects under the Regional Wastewater Services Plan, a 30-year comprehensive plan adopted by the King County Council in 1999.

Additional information about the utility, its service mission and its finances is available on the Web at http://www.kingcounty.gov/ratepayerreport.

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