|SARASOTA COUNTY – Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings assigned “AA+” ratings on two Sarasota County’s utility bonds that will be sold in early December. One to assist in funding upgrades to the county’s water and wastewater systems and one to refinance outstanding bonds for debt service savings. |
According to Sarasota County Administrator Jonathan Lewis, this bond issue is a major step toward upgrading the Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility to an advanced wastewater treatment process.
“Our dedication to improving and maintaining water quality is a direct result of the county commission’s leadership, and their ongoing commitment to protecting our natural resources,” Lewis added. “I’m proud of the work county staff has done, along with their continued collaboration with the Office of the County Attorney and the Sarasota County Clerk of the Court and Comptroller’s office.”
The approximate $62.4 million utility revenue system bond, series 2020A, will be sold to finance the utility expansion projects and improvements to the Bee Ridge Water Reclamation and Carlton Water Treatment facilities. The approximate $44.8 million utility system refunding bond, series 2020B, represents an advanced refunding to secure a lower interest rate and interest savings much like a home mortgage refinance. Proceeds from the 2020B bond sale will be used to refund portions of utility bonds series 2011A and 2013 ahead of their maturity schedules.
Steve Botelho, Deputy County Administrator and Chief Financial Management Officer, said “Although there remains economic uncertainty due to coronavirus, both rating agencies agree that the county continues strong performance in servicing debts and managing financial assets with a solid management team”. Fitch Ratings and S&P also affirmed the “AA+” rating for the county’s utility system outstanding 2011A, 2011B, 2013, 2016A, 2016B, 2019A series revenue bonds with a stable outlook.
Fitch Ratings and S&P reports determine the county’s perceived worthiness for borrowing, similar to an individual’s credit score. Higher bond ratings are typically accompanied by a lower interest rate. “AA+” indicates the county is doing a good job at paying off current debt and is likely to pay off future debts. The rating also indicates a lower risk to investors. Sarasota County issues revenue bonds help to fund capital projects. To view complete analysis of the county’s utility system revenue bond ratings visit Fitch Ratings or S&P.
|For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit www.scgov.net.|