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.
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.