S&P: Orange Water & Sewer Authority, NC Water, Sewer Revenue Bond Rating Raised To 'AAA' On Strong Finances

S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term rating on the Orange Water & Sewer Authority, N. C.'s outstanding water and sewer revenue refunding bonds to 'AAA' from 'AA+'. At the same time, we assigned our 'AAA' rating to the authority's 2018 water and sewer revenue refunding bonds. The outlook on all ratings is stable.

"The upgrade reflects the authority's strong and consistent financial performance and our expectation that management will be able to maintain such metrics given the moderate capital needs, manageable projected rate increases, and proactive management practices," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Erin Boeke Burke. The ratings also reflect the authority's extremely strong enterprise and financial risk profiles.

Net water and sewer system revenues secure the bonds. We understand bond proceeds will refund the authority's series 2004B variable-rate bonds and pay for the costs of issuance.

The authority provides water and sewer services to roughly 21,000 customers, primarily to the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, both in southeast Orange County.

"The stable outlook reflects our expectation that the authority will maintain its strong liquidity and strong coverage levels, aided by proactive management of costs and the implementation of timely and appropriate rate adjustments," added Ms. Boeke Burke. The presence of a stable economic and customer base also supports the rating. Based on these expectations we do not expect a rating change over the two-year outlook horizon.

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