FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michelle Stommstom@tampabaywater.org(727) 791-2305
CLEARWATER, Fla. (July 6, 2020) –Tampa Bay Water’s bonds continue to be rated AA+ by Fitch Ratings, reflecting the utility’s strong revenue, low operating risk and healthy financial profile.
Tampa Bay Water issues debt in the form of bonds to build and maintain the pipelines, pump stations and water treatment plants that make up the Tampa Bay area’s regional water supply system. The utility’s bond ratings are supported by:
“The AA+ rating is an independent confirmation of the utility’s financial strength and stability,” said Christina Sackett, Tampa Bay Water’s chief financial officer. “It allows Tampa Bay Water to issue bonds at lower interest rates that save ratepayers money as we build and maintain the infrastructure needed to meet the growing water demands of the region.”
Tampa Bay Water has the absolute and unequivocal obligation to meet the drinking water needs of its member governments and its bonds are secured by the net revenue of water sales to the members. A fully funded debt service reserve provides additional security for all outstanding bonds.
The strong credit rating of the member governments that are served by the water utility were a factor in the agency’s bond rating.
The diversity and reliability of the water sources that Tampa Bay Water uses to produce clean, safe water for more than 2.5 million Tampa Bay area residents and businesses also factored into the ratings decision. The regional system blends groundwater, river water and desalinated seawater to balance economic and environmental sustainability while delivering high-quality drinking water.
The ratings agency also noted the leadership role of the utility’s board of directors and management team in maintaining a strong credit rating. Tampa Bay Water has consistently decreased its outstanding debt while maintaining healthy cash balances and providing a wholesale water rate to its members, which for the past nine years has equaled $2.56 per 1,000 gallons. Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors recently approved the agency’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget which maintains the wholesale rate for the tenth consecutive year.
ABOUT TAMPA BAY WATER
Tampa Bay Water is the largest wholesale water supplier in Florida, providing high-quality drinking water to its members, who in turn, supply water to more than 2.5 million residents of the Tampa Bay area. Tampa Bay Water member governments include the cities of New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa, and the counties of Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas. To learn more, visit tampabaywater.org.
For news media requests, please contact:
Michelle Stom, MPA, APR Chief Communications Officer O: (727) 791-2305 | M: (727) 418-4652 Brandon Moore, APR Public Communications Manager O: (727) 791-2304 | M: (727) 470-0702