The City of Newport News and Newport News Waterworks have recently been rated by independent agencies to assess financial ‘worthiness,’ and both entities received high marks.
Like many homeowners and private businesses, the
City of Newport News and Waterworks borrow cash for large capital projects, such as public buildings or street, sewer, and water projects, by selling bonds. General Obligation Bonds are sold to support the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) with the debt paid by the City. Water Bonds are sold for capital projects related to the Waterworks, and that debt is paid by water system rates and fees.
The City plans to issue both General Obligation and Water Bonds later this month. Prior to issuing bonds, the City’s credit has to be rated by independent agencies, in this case by both Moody’s and Standard & Poors (S&P). On the General Obligation bonds, Moody’s has affirmed the City’s credit at Aa1, and S&P affirmed Newport News’ AA rating. Both of those ratings are the second highest awarded by those agencies. For the Water bonds, S&P affirmed the Waterworks credit at AAA, which is the highest rating possible, and Moody’s upgraded Waterworks from an Aa2 rating to Aa1, Moody’s second highest rating. This is all good news as strong credit ratings make it easier for the City and Waterworks to access funds for capital projects through bond sales, usually at a lower interest rate.