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S&P Upgrades Atlanta Water and Wastewater Revenue Bonds Fitch Improves Outlook

Post Date:01/30/2015 4:00 PM
Mayor Kasim Reed press release header

 Mayor’s Office of Communications



Thế giới cá 55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Anne Torres, Director
404-330-6423, office
404-904-2618, cell
amtorres@atlantaga.gov

Jenna Garland, Press Secretary
404-330-6612, office
404-357-5579, cell
jgarland@atlantaga.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 30, 2015

Thế giới cáNews Release

S&P Upgrades Atlanta Water and Wastewater Revenue Bonds Fitch Improves Outlook 

ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta announced today that it has won a rating upgrade and positive outlook on its water and wastewater bonds from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Investor Services and Fitch Ratings. S&P notified the City of its upgrade to the 2015 Water and Wastewater Revenue Refunding Bonds to AA- from A+. Fitch Ratings revised its outlook for the bonds, valued at $1.25 billion, from stable to positive. A clear indicator of Atlanta’s financial health, this is the City’s second credit upgrade in 18 months.

Both ratings agencies cited strong management and financial performance as keys to the new ratings. According to Fitch Ratings, Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management’s “management stability, prudent cost controls and revenues in excess of budget assumptions” are key contributors to the bonds’ improved ratings.

“My administration remains committed to strengthening the City of Atlanta’s financial performance,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “The S&P and Fitch upgrades are another indication that we are taking the necessary steps to achieve financial growth and to provide responsible stewardship of ratepayer funds. I commend the Department of Watershed Management for their continued fiscal responsibility.”

Atlanta has successfully complied with a 1998 federal consent decree by completing more than $700 million of rehabilitation and separation of its combined sewer system on time and under budget. The City continues to make significant progress on a 1999 federal consent decree to reduce sanitary sewer spills into the Chattahoochee River. As a result of these accomplishments, Atlanta was able to secure an extension on its federal consent decree obligation from 2014 to 2027. The extension alleviates some near-term financing needs without detracting from intended environmental protection.

“Mayor Reed has put us in a position of economic strength that allows the Department of Watershed Management to move forward on a $1 billion capital program of needed water infrastructure that includes the largest single project undertaken by the department; a new raw water tunnel and storage facility estimated at $280 million,” said Watershed Management Commissioner Jo Ann Macrina. “Through this program, we will be able to provide a reliable water supply to the City of Atlanta customers for the next 100 years and maintain the value of the public’s water assets.”

"The Department of Finance is pleased that the rating agencies have recognized the work of the city to provide world-class water and wastewater services to our customers," said Jim Beard, Chief Financial Officer. "We continue to refine our pay-as-you-go model to enable the Department of Watershed Management to meet its operational objectives without upward pressure on rates in the foreseeable future."

Mayor Reed has strengthened Atlanta’s financial position after experiencing the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The City has passed five straight balanced budgets, and cash reserves are up to more than $138 million, with that number projected to reach $142 million by the end of the year. Property taxes have not been raised for four straight years, and the FY2015 budget included a rollback in the property tax rate.

Thế giới cá Bonds are secured by net revenues of the water and wastewater system, net of sales tax revenues collected for system maintenance and operation expenses. The ratings impact how easily governments can borrow money.

 

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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://everafterbox.comThế giới cá or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on  and Twitter . Follow Mayor Reed on  and Twitter

 

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