Top ratings earn water district lower interest rates

COSTA MESA — Mesa Consolidated Water District has received top bond ratings from the Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor rating firms, which will allow the district to finance future infrastructure projects at lower interest rates, district officials said in a news release.

Fitch rated all of Mesa Water's bonds at AAA, and Standard & Poor's gave the District an AAA rating on its outstanding senior debt — which was refinanced in 2009 — and an AA+ rating on Mesa Water's upcoming issuance, the release said. The district's bonds previously had been rated AA.

The AAA and AA+ bond ratings are among the highest available from the rating agencies, the release said. According to the release, these ratings will save money for Mesa Water customers in the coming years. The district will be in a position to finance future water infrastructure improvement projects at lower interest rates, thus reducing costs while increasing Mesa Water's service and supply reliability, and storage capacity.

"These bond ratings indicate that Mesa Water is in excellent financial condition, due in large part to our Board's commitment to fiscally conservative practices," Mesa Water Board President Shawn Dewane said in a prepared statement. "The high ratings also allow us to more cost-effectively improve our water infrastructure for the benefit of our customers."

He added: "The Mesa Water Board of Directors is extremely proud of this achievement during a time when it is more challenging to accomplish a ratings increase. This signifies Mesa Water's solid financial position, resulting from many years of prudent fiscal policies and leadership."

Founded in January 1960, Mesa Consolidated Water District serves more than 110,000 customers in an 18-square-mile area. The district serves Costa Mesa, parts of Newport Beach and unincorporated parts of Orange County, including John Wayne Airport.

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