Despite a substantially reduced customer base that has been slow to recover since the hurricanes of 2005, the sewer revenue debt issued by the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board was raised to BBB-minus from B by Standard & Poor’s on Monday. There is $54.6 million of sewer debt outstanding.

Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Sarah Smaardyk said board officials have been willing to raise rates to support operations and capital needs. The board raised sewerage rates by 15% in 2003 and again in 2004, and followed that with 14% increases in 2005 and 2006.

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