DALLAS — With bond elections less than a month away, there’s not much volume expected to price this week in the Texas municipal market.

Burleson plans to offer $40.2 million of debt in two tranches at some point this week on the heels of a two-notch upgrade from Standard & Poor’s.

The rapidly growing town about 15 miles south of Fort Worth will offer $25.4 million of certificates of obligation and about $14.8 million of general obligation bonds through a negotiated sale led by Southwest Securities Inc. RBC Capital Markets and Coastal Securities Inc. are co-mangers.

First Southwest Co. is the financial adviser to city, and McCall, Parkhurst & Horton LLP is bond counsel.

Standard & Poor’s raised the underlying rating of the city to AA-minus from A due to “steady property-tax base growth, very strong financial position, and expanding economy.” The outlook is stable.

Boyd London, managing director at First Southwest, said the debt will be insured by Assured Guaranty Corp.

Burleson’s current population of 33,100 is up nearly 60% since the beginning of the decade. The city has more than doubled its general-fund balance to $6.7 million for fiscal 2007 from just less than $3 million five years ago, and the taxable-assessed value rose 54% during that span to $1.8 billion.

In tandem with many areas around Fort Worth, Burleson has benefited from increased natural-gas drilling and production in the Barnett Shale, possibly the largest inland natural-gas field in the world.

Fitch Ratings assigned an A-plus rating to the sale. Analysts said the rating reflects the city’s strong financial results.

As many Texas school districts prepare to put bond packages before voters in a few weeks, there are just a couple school deals set to price this week. 

Today, the Aubrey Independent School District is bringing $9 million of unlimited tax school building bonds to market through a negotiated sale led by Morgan Keegan & Co. with Southwest Securities as co-manager.

RBC is the financial adviser to the small North Texas district about 50 miles north of Dallas. Total enrollment at the district’s four campuses is about 1,630. The district is using bond proceeds to build a new elementary school while expanding existing schools.

Moody’s Investors Service assigned its Baa1 underlying rating to the sale, and analysts said the rating reflects “the district’s rapidly growing tax base and high wealth levels for a historically rural community that is quickly becoming more integrated into the DFW Metroplex.”

The bonds also come to market with the backing of the state’s triple-A rated Permanent School Fund.

The Riesel Independent School District is bringing $1.6 million of general obligation bonds to market this week through a negotiated sale led by RBC. The small, central Texas district serves about 570 students.

The Silsbee Independent School District plans to offer $9.3 million of refunding bonds in a negotiated sale this week led by First Southwest. The rural district serves an enrollment of about 3,000 in southeast Texas.

In the competitive market Thursday, Fort Bend County Municipal Utility District No. 142 plans to offer about $12.5 million of unlimited-tax bonds and the North Texas Municipal Water District will issue $34.6 million of upper east fork wastewater interceptor system contract revenue bonds. Insurance for each issue will be at bidder’s option.

Rathmann & Associates is the financial adviser to the Fort Bend County MUD, which carries underlying ratings of Aa3 from Moody’s and AA from Standard & Poor’s.

First Southwest advises the North Texas utility, which Standard & Poor’s rates at AA-plus.

Judd Sanderson, director of finance for the water district, said proceeds will fund about 20 projects to expand and upgrade wastewater pipelines that feed into treatment plants.

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