Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services yesterday raised its long-term rating on the Suffolk County Water Authority’s senior-lien water system revenue bonds to AAA, one day after Fitch Ratings assigned an AAA rating to SCWA bonds, making SCWA one of only approximately 75 of 20,000 water suppliers nationwide with two AAA ratings.
S&P cited SCWA’s strong management expertise, budgeting practices and low rates in making their determination, noting that the average SCWA customer pays just 0.3% of median household spending income on water rates. The agency also pointed to SCWA’s well-aligned operational and organization goals, its high-level management training and its communication with the public regarding the water system.
"We believe that the financial management practices are strong, comprehensive and support high credit quality," S&P said in a press release.
Fitch Ratings issued a press release yesterday citing SCWA’s low rates, ample capacity and strong financial results in assigning an AAA rating on approximately $195 million in water system revenue bonds.
"It is extremely gratifying to have our hard work recognized by receiving the highest possible credit ratings," said SCWA Chairman James F. Gaughran. "The decision made by the ratings agencies will help us to keep our water rates low."
"This is an acknowledgement that our smart management practices are working," said SCWA Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey W. Szabo. "For the first time in our history, we have developed and implemented a ten-year strategic business plan that has transformed our operations and made us more efficient than ever before."
"We are proud to see the collective efforts of Authority staff recognized for providing a valuable public service while maintaining our commitment to strong fiscal discipline," said SCWA Chief Financial Officer Douglas J. Celiberti.
The Suffolk County Water Authority is an independent public-benefit corporation operating under the authority of the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York. Serving approximately 1.2 million Suffolk County residents, the Authority operates without taxing power on a not-for-profit basis.