Standard & Poor’s has raised its rating on the debt of Oklahoma City Water Utility Trust to AAA from AA-plus in recognition of the utility’s role as a regional wholesale water supplier and its significant liquidity levels.
The triple-A rating covers the utility trust’s upcoming sale of $67.3 million of water and sewer system revenue bonds and $48.7 million of revenue refunding bonds, along with the trust’s $148 million of outstanding debt.
The trust’s debt is rated Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service.
The board overseeing the water utility trust has approved a $523.1 million five-year capital improvement plan through fiscal 2013. The financing plan includes $168.7 million from revenues and $354.4 million through the trust’s commercial paper program, which will be refunded with regular tranches of revenue bonds.
The capital plan includes doubling the capacity of a water treatment plant to 150 million gallons from 75 million gallons per day and expansion of a wastewater plant to 10 million from five million gallons gallons per day.
Standard & Poor’s analysts James Breeding and Paul Jasin said the utility’s liquidity totaled more than 400 days unrestricted cash at the end of fiscal 2007. They said the system’s strengths include a diverse customer base, ample water supplies, and strong debt service coverage.