National bond rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) announced on November 6 that it has upgraded the City of Gastonia’s bond rating for the combined utilities system from AA- to AA and deemed the outlook stable. Ratings from S&P generally indicate a city’s financial stability and overall financial health.
“We are pleased that our City continues to be recognized for its strong financial position,” said City Manager Michael Peoples. “It is important that the public knows that we continue to work diligently to be good stewards to the taxpayers and customers who rely on our services.”
The City of Gastonia provides water and sewer service to about 100,000 residents and 32,000 water and 29,000 sewer accounts directly within the city under the name of Two Rivers Utilities. It is also a regional provider of wholesale water and wastewater services to surrounding towns and municipalities. Several of the system’s top water and sewer customers are municipal customers that have signed long-term, minimum volume-based contracts with the city for services.
“The upgrade reflects continued growth in the service area coupled with the historically very strong financial position, which we expect to be sustained following the utility’s most recent revenue debt issuance as well as other modest capital needs included in the most recent five-year capital improvement plan,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Danielle Leonardis.
In essence, the debt rating means that the City of Gastonia will be able to sell future bonds and debt at lower interest rates. Those lower rates will enable the City, and its customers, to save money in interest costs when the City issues debt.
Visit this link for more information about the bond rating.