Standard & Poor’s this week raised its underlying rating on Johnson City’s prior-lien electric system revenue bonds to AA-minus from A-plus and assigned the new rating to an upcoming $28 million bond deal. The outlook is stable.

Analysts said that the upgrade reflects the municipal utility’s role as a take-and-pay wholesale power customer of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which greatly reduces operating risk given the strength of TVA’s generation and transmission operations. The utility also has a strong history of debt service coverage levels, a fully funded capital program following this issuance, and a stable regional economic base in the service area, according to the report.

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