DALLAS — There’s plenty of supply this week in Texas, including $1 billion of second-tier revenue bonds from the North Texas Tollway Authority and multiple issues from school districts. The NTTA is bringing the debt to market after delaying the sale for nearly two months due to market conditions. Officials said they were pleased with the response to a smaller issue last month and decided to price the larger issue now. Lehman Brothers is lead manager for this week’s sale. The NTTA carries underlying ratings of BBB-plus from Standard & Poor’s and A2 from Moody’s Investors Service. Fitch Ratings withdraw its rating at the request of the authority after Fitch downgraded the NTTA’s outstanding revenue bonds to BBB-plus from A-minus in February. Harris County will offer $395 million of tax anticipation notes in the competitive market at some point this week. The nation’s third-largest county, which includes Houston, sells similar-sized Tan offerings annually, using proceeds to cover cash-flow needs during the fiscal year. In April, Standard & Poor’s upgraded the county to AAA due to “continued strong economic trends and financial performance.” Harris County, which is home to more than 3.9 million residents, also carries underlying GO ratings of AA-plus from Fitch and Aa1 from Moody’s. This week’s notes are rated SP-1-plus by Standard & Poor’s and F1-plus by Fitch. Moody’s rated last year’s Harris County notes at MIG-1. It had yet to issue a report on this week’s deal as of press time. The West Texas town of Plainview is going to offer about $8.5 million of general obligation debt in two tranches this week. The city, which is almost halfway between Lubbock and Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle, will issue $6.9 million of GO refunding bonds and $1.6 million of combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation in negotiated sales led by Southwest Securities Inc. The Texas Public Finance Authority plans to issue $15.5 million of building revenue refunding bonds on behalf of the Texas Facilities Commission projects at some point this week. Ramirez & Co. is senior manager for the negotiated sale. Bryan will issue $11.1 million of combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation today in the competitive market. First Southwest Co. is the financial adviser to the central Texas city of about 71,000. A handful of Texas school districts plan to price new-money bond sales this week. Most of the bonds come to market backed by the state’s triple-A rated Permanent School Fund. The gilt-edged credit enhancement is nearing capacity as hundreds of millions of school debt has come to market the past few months. State lawmakers seek to increase the fund’s to five times its market value and await a taxl ruling on the proposal. The Longview Independent School District is coming to market with the first sale from a $267 million bond package narrowly approved in May. Only 14 more votes made the difference for the largest-bond referendum in district history, with 1,552 for and 1,538 against. Officials plan to use proceeds from this week’s $130 million sale for five new elementary schools and three middle schools, renovations to three other campuses, and technology upgrades across the East Texas district. Most of the district’s schools are more than 50 years old and one middle school was built in the late 1800’s as the first Longview high school. While enrollment has been declining slightly the past few years to about 8,100 currently, some projections show the student population reaching 9,000 over the next 10 years. Fitch assigned a AA-minus underlying rating to the sale due to the district’s strong reserves, moderately high debt, and fairly diverse tax base with healthy assessed-valuation growth. Aledo Independent School District is bringing $61 million of unlimited-tax school building bonds to the market through a negotiated sale led by Southwest Securities. RBC Capital Markets is the district’s financial adviser and McCall, Parkhurst & Horton LLP is bond counsel. The district is about 20 miles west of Fort Worth. Most of the district lies in Parker County with a slice in Tarrant County. This is the first sale from a $67 million bond package passed in May for a new ninth-grade campus, a technology building, a teacher-training center, and renovations to existing facilities. Officials plan to issue the remaining $6 million next year. At roughly 4,500, enrollment at the district’s schools is up nearly 40% since 2002. The district carries underlying ratings of A-minus from both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch. Standard & Poor’s has a positive outlook on the district due to an improved financial performance and the economic growth of the area. The Hays Consolidated Independent School District plans to offer $87 million of GO school building bonds in a negotiated sale led by Southwest Securities. RBC is the district’s financial adviser and Andrews Kurth is bond counsel. The school district, which is in Hays, Travis and Caldwell counties about 22 miles south of Austin, has been coping with nearly double-digit enrollment growth annually for the past five years or so and enrollment is nearly 12,000 with 17 campuses. Ennis Independent School District will issue nearly $49 million of unlimited-tax school building bonds in a negotiated sale led by First Southwest. Coastal Securities Inc. is the financial adviser to the district and McCall, Parkhurst & Horton is bond counsel. Fitch assigned an A underlying rating to the bonds. Analysts said the rating reflects the district’s healthy financial position, conservative management practices, sound and diversified local economy, and moderate enrollment growth. Officials plan to use proceeds to meet capital needs for the next eight to 10 years, according to analysts. The district has a total enrollment of about 5,650 and sits about 35 miles south of downtown Dallas. Anderson Shiro Consolidated Independent School District is bringing $13.5 million of unlimited-tax school building bonds to the competitive market Thursday. Coastal Securities Inc. is the financial adviser and McCall, Parkhurst & Horton is bond counsel. The small, central Texas district serves an enrollment of about 650 students. Standard & Poor’s assigned an A underlying rating to the sale.
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