Strong financial portfolio lifts Spartanburg Sanitary Sewer District’s bond rating

November 25, 2019.

It’s a positive sign of a bright future ahead…a bond rating increase for the Spartanburg Sanitary Sewer District (SSSD)!

You may be wondering why this is important. The rating boost is a direct reflection of your utility’s strong financial management and performance. A bond rating is a letter grade assigned to bonds that indicate their credit quality.

Two independent bond rating agencies – Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Moody’s Investor Service – upgraded SSSD’s revenue bonds based on a combination of the utility’s strong coverage and cash position, wise operational and financial management, and a growing service area.

SSSD’s service area has expanded rapidly due to a growing population and boundary expansion. Economic development also contributed to the higher rating. Several projects are underway that will support continued job growth within SSSD’s service area, which will in turn contribute to an increased customer base and revenue stream.

The bond rating agencies also cited policies that support their view of continued financial health – specifically SSSD’s strong infrastructure stewardship. Management is proactive in maintaining infrastructure and keeps a designated fund for maintenance. In addition, the utility has cash reserved and allocated to meet operational needs and risks. This cash position – and SSSD’s flexibility and capacity to support future growth – are expected to result in decreasing debt.

SSSD solely provides this essential public utility to the community and at an affordable rate, as noted by the bond rating agencies. Smart rate-setting practices and growing income levels contributed to their decision to raise SSSD’s bond rating.

While two separate entities operating under the name Spartanburg Water, SSSD is not the only component of the utility to be awarded a higher bond revenue rating.

“Spartanburg Water is pleased by the recent bond rating increase on the drinking water side as well,” said CEO Sue Schneider. “A key measure of a public utility’s financial strength is the bond rating. The decision to raise the grade assigned to both our sewer and water bonds is a direct reflection of strong financial management, improving bond coverage ratios and liquidity, environmental compliance, and well-maintained infrastructure – all of which we stand by.”

 

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