S&P Global Ratings has raised its long-term rating to 'AA+' from 'AA' on the City of Marysville's outstanding debt for water and sewer systems.
An upgrade in the bond rating basically translates into lower interest rates, Finance Director Sandy Langdon explained. That’s a win for taxpayers because it reduces the cost of financing large utility projects.
“The upgrade reflects our view of the system's liquidity position, which strengthened over the past 10 years, consistently robust all-in coverage metrics, declining debt service obligations, and lack of future debt plans,” the April 2021 rating summary states.
“Further supporting the upgrade are the manageable annual capital needs that are driven primarily by renewal and replacements of aging infrastructure that management plans to fund with reserves. These factors, in combination with annual rate-setting practices, support our view that financial metrics will be substantiated at or near current levels.”
S&P noted that Marysville’s credit strengths include “very affordable” monthly utility rates, low debt-to-capitalization ratio and a robust regional economy.
The risk review also found that Marysville has an abundant water supply, about half of which comes from groundwater wells and the balance purchased from the City of Everett through a long-term agreement, and the wastewater treatment system has capacity for current and future growth.