The Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust received triple-A ratings from all three major credit rating agencies in advance of its $205 million sale of state revolving fund bonds scheduled for May 8.
The trust is the commonwealth’s only statewide municipal issuer so rated by Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s, a spokesman for state Treasurer Steven Grossman said Wednesday.
The Series 17A tax-exempt and 17B federally taxable bonds, which the trust will issue through competitive sale, will fund $394 million of water infrastructure projects statewide.
TThe ratings reflect the trust’s overall strength, said Sue Perez, executive director of the trust. Revolving fund bondsare secured with a diverse loan portfolio that consists of individual borrowers with strong credit profiles, she said, adding that the program receives support from multiple levels of government, including federal capitalization grants, state matching funds and commonwealth assistance payments.
Since its establishment in 1989, the trust has provided about $6 billion in loans to almost 300 borrowers. Its purpose was amended in 1998 to further comply with changes in federal safe drinking water mandates.
The trust’s previous issue, for $389 million in hybrid new-project financing, was a Northeast Region finalist for The Bond Buyer’s deal of the year award. It involved the sale of bonds on both a competitive and negotiated basis, a first in the United States for a state revolving fund, according to the Grossman spokesman. The deal included a refunding component that resulted in $21.6 million in gross savings.