The city of West Richland received a better-than-expected bond rating grade of AA from Standard & Poor's while issuing limited tax general obligation bonds for construction of a public works operations facility, officials said.
"This is a great accomplishment for the city," said West Richland Finance Director Jessica Platt. "The higher the rating grade, then the lower the interest cost. A rating in the AA category is considered high investment grade quality."
Mayor Brent Gerry said, "We are very pleased and proud to achieve the AA rating grade, especially for a city of our size. This bond rating grade reflects that West Richland is very well-managed and has excellent financial practices in place for the benefit of our taxpayers."
The 20-year financing has an estimated net borrowing cost of 3.4 percent, which is preliminary and subject to change.
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The final interest rates for the limited tax general obligation bonds should be set in early August.
Platt said the AA rating was based on several factors: a demonstrated track record of strong ending balances in the general fund; small amounts of outstanding debt; strong financial practices and policies; a diverse taxpayer base; the strength of the Tri-Cities' economy; and experienced management in efficiently operating the city.