Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings assign AAA rating for SWIRFT 2018 bonds
For immediate release. Contact: Kimberly Leggett at 512-463-5129
AUSTIN – (March 27, 2018) – Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Fitch Ratings have both assigned a “AAA” rating for the Texas Water Development Board’s (TWDB) upcoming bond issuance for the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT) and affirmed the “AAA” rating on previously issued SWIRFT revenue bonds. “AAA” is the highest assigned credit rating, resulting in a lower cost of funds that will allow the TWDB to continue to pass on cost savings to its customers.
“The ‘AAA’ rating is vital for Texas programs like SWIRFT to continue to thrive and succeed,” said Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar. “With SWIRFT continuing to receive the highest credit rating, the program can pass important savings to local governments and taxpayers for necessary water infrastructure projects.”
The TWDB will issue SWIRFT bonds to the market in April to fund approximately $906.9 million for SWIRFT projects. The proceeds of the bond sale will be used to finance the Northeast Water Purification Plant expansion in Houston, Texas, and the construction of the Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir in North Texas.
“The Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir and the Northeast Water Purification Plant are critical infrastructure projects that will serve millions of Texans,” said TWDB Board Chairman Peter Lake. “SWIRFT is ensuring that the state water plan is implemented and that communities around the state have sufficient water supply for decades to come.”
Because the TWDB is allowing multi-year funding through SWIRFT, the agency has now committed $6.2 billion over the next decade for state water plan projects in Texas.
SWIRFT was established along with the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) by the Texas Legislature and voters in 2013 to fund projects in the state water plan. SWIFT was created through the transfer of a one-time, $2 billion appropriation from the state’s Rainy Day Fund. The $2 billion will be leveraged with revenue bonds to finance approximately $27 billion in water supply projects over the next 50 years. More information on the SWIFT program* is available on the TWDB website: www.twdb.texas.gov/financial/programs/swift/.
The TWDB opened the application process for the fourth cycle of SWIRFT in December 2017 and expects to announce the eligible applicants later this summer.
*The SWIFT programincludes two funds, the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT). Revenue bonds for the program are issued through SWIRFT.
The TWDB is the state agency charged with collecting and disseminating water-related data, assisting with regional planning, and preparing the state water plan for the development of the state’s water resources. The TWDB administers cost-effective financial assistance programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.