Georgia County sells $8.5M in stormwater bonds

Aug. 24, 2021
The sale of bonds will support a stormwater system rehabilitation plan, which will replace $5M annually over the next five years.

On August 17, Rockdale County, Georgia, approved the sale of $8.555 million in Stormwater Revenue Bonds.

Proceeds from the sale of the Series 2021 Stormwater Revenue Bonds will be used to fund improvements to the county’s stormwater infrastructure. The Stormwater System currently consists of 183 miles of drainage pipes. 73% of the infrastructure is comprised of corrugated metal pipe that was installed over 40 years ago which means it’s well beyond its 20-year estimated useful life.

The county maintains a comprehensive five-year capital improvement plan for its stormwater system – designed to identify capital improvement needs. In September of 2020, the county approved the results of a stormwater rate study to begin improvements to the system through 2022.

An integral factor of the transaction was the high-quality bond rating which ultimately contributed to the strong interest by numerous market investors.

Moody’s Investors Service assigned a rating of ‘Aa3’ to the county’s Stormwater Revenue Bonds, Series 2021. This rating reflects the stormwater enterprise’s adequate projected coverage and good structural provisions. In addition, the County’s management skills contributed to the high-quality bond rating.

The rating also accounts for the stormwater enterprise’s low cash balance, which is bolstered by ample liquidity across other County funds that can be transferred with a vote if necessary.

“We have faced several stormwater issues in recent years, which means it was time to improve the system; therefore, the Board of Commissioners approved a five-year capital improvement plan to replace $5 million of the system annually over the next five years,” said County Board Chairman Oz Nesbitt.

“The system has numerous pipes and drains that need rehabilitation and new pipes installed to ensure it is functioning properly” said Director of Stormwater Management, Terrence Simpkins.

Also contributing to the success of the transaction is the county’s financing team, which included Citigroup Global Markets Inc. serving as underwriter, M. Qader A. Baig & Associates LLC (County’s Counsel), Terminus Municipal Advisors LLC (Financial Advisor) and Murray Barnes Finister LLP serving as Bond and Disclosure Counsel.

SOURCE: Rockdale County