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Posted on: March 27, 2019

AA Rating for DuPont’s Water & Stormwater Revenue Bonds

The City of DuPont is in the process of issuing Water & Stormwater Revenue Bonds to finance three capital improvements a new Public Works Facility, the Hoffman Hill Reservoir Corrosion Protection, and an Automatic Meter Reading System. As part of the process, the City’s staff presented information to the national rating agency of (S&P) Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings.

According to City Administrator, Andy Takata, “the City received a rating of AA. This is a great accomplishment for the City and its ratepayers, especially when you consider this is the City’s first Revenue Bond!”

Mayor Mike Courts said, “this rating of AA reflects that the City is very well-managed and has strong financial policies and practices in place for the benefit of our citizens. The higher the rating grade, then the lower the interest cost. We are very pleased and proud to achieve the rating of AA”.

According to Finance Director Carma Oaksmith, “the AA bond rating grade is based on the following key factors: 1. Demonstrated track record of strong financial reserves; 2. Strong coverage ratios; 3. Updated financial management policies and practices; 4. Strength of the local economy; and 5. Experienced management in operating the City in an efficient manner.”

Public Works Director, Gus Lim, explained “the City is issuing the Water & Stormwater Revenue Bonds for the purpose of paying the costs of constructing, developing and equipping a new public works facility, improvements to the Hoffman Hill Reservoir, installation of an automatic meter reading system, and other improvements to the System”. Mr. Lim further explained all the hard work performed by the City staff, involving review and implementation of the Utility Rate Study, presentations to the City Council, adopting a new Financial Management Policy, and working with the Bond Underwriter and Bond Attorney.  “This was an exciting process and all the hard work paid off with a high rating grade and low interest rate!”

As part of the rating process, City staff prepared for a presentation to S&P Global Ratings.  The presentation team was comprised of:  Mayor Mike Courts, City Administrator Andy Takata, Public Works Director Gus Lim, Finance Director Carma Oaksmith, Planning Director Jeff Wilson, City Engineers Dominick Miller and Kerri Sidebottom (of Gray & Osborne), and Bond Underwriter Jim Nelson of D.A. Davidson & Co. The team presented information and answered questions that dealt with the topics of management, finances, local economy and long-term planning. 

The Water & Stormwater Revenue Bonds were priced on March 26th in Seattle at the offices of D.A. Davidson & Co., serving as Bond Underwriter.  The Revenue Bonds (financed over 30-years) achieved a net borrowing cost of 3.33%.  Mayor Mike Courts, Gus Lim, Carma Oaksmith, Erin Gowenlock attended the bond pricing to observe the process, receive updates on the bond market, and see the orders/buyers of the various maturities. 

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