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King County bond refinancing saves $65 million for sewer utility ratepayers

Summary

Solid credit ratings and favorable financial market conditions continue to benefit ratepayers served by King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division. On Monday, a bond refinancing of $281.5 will yield about $65 million in savings over the next 25 years.

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Sewer improvement projects that safeguard the environment and support continued economic growth now come with the benefit of a lower price tag.

On Monday, King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division refinanced $279 million in sewer revenue bonds at a 3.25 percent interest rate, which will save the utility an estimated $65 million over the next 25 years.

“Our stellar credit rating continues to save millions of ratepayer dollars,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Because we are able to deliver vital infrastructure projects at a lower cost, we’re able to deliver important services at a stable rate.”

King County's wastewater utility partially funds its capital improvement program by selling sewer revenue bonds. Solid bond ratings help the County secure lower interest rates on the bonds it sells each year to fund its major capital improvement program. The money borrowed is paid back through current and future monthly sewer rates and other charges.

Last week, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s affirmed their respective ratings of the utility’s sewer revenue bonds at Aa2 and AA+, citing the utility’s strong management practices, consistent financial performance and the region’s bright regional economic outlook.

Since 2000, various refinancings of King County’s bonds have saved the utility almost $525 million in debt costs.

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