Water authority refinances $18 million in bonds

From Staff Reports

The Clayton County Water Authority recently moved to refinance $18 million in bonds issued in 2001 to fund several construction projects, saving more than $1 million in future payments, water authority officials said.

The water authority's Board of Directors and members and the Clayton County Board of Commissioners approved a joint resolution, Dec. 8, calling for the refunding of the Clayton County Water Authority's Series 2001 Water and Sewerage Revenue Bonds, according to Suzanne Brown, a spokesperson for the authority.

She said the bond refunding is similar to refinancing a home at a lower interest rate to reduce monthly payments.

Water authority "board members and management staff decided to refinance approximately $18 million of the Series 2001 revenue bonds because of financial conditions that would allow the authority to reduce some of its long-term bond debt," Brown said. "This refinancing saved the authority at least $1.27 million."

She said the final payment for the refinanced revenue bonds is scheduled for May 2018.

"When we realized the market conditions were right for us to save at least six percent on this debt, we knew it was a good idea," said Pete McQueen, chairman of the water authority board.

The bonds were issued in May 2001 to fund construction of the W.B. Casey Water Reclamation Facility, the Panhandle Road Constructed Wetlands, part of the E.L. Huie, Jr., Constructed Wetlands, wastewater system improvements, water distribution system improvements and construction of advanced disinfection at the authority's three water production facilities, Brown said.

Earlier this year, Standard and Poor's Rating Services increased the authority's bond rating from AA to AA+, Brown said. She said the AA+ rating was affirmed by the rating agency on Dec. 4.