Moulton Niguel Water District awarded top credit rating by S&P Global ratings and Fitch

Independent ratings agencies cite strong finances, affordable rates & long-term planning.

Jan 21st, 2019
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MOULTON NIGUEL, CA, JAN 21, 2019 -- Moulton Niguel Water District has been awarded the coveted AAA credit rating from two of the leading independent ratings agencies in the world. Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings have each assigned Moulton Niguel the highest-possible credit rating, citing the District's affordable rates, healthy financial profile and long-term planning to secure a diversified and reliable water supply.

The triple A credit rating is the highest possible credit rating and, according to financial experts, reflects a government agency's strong credit worthiness, financial management and responsible planning. The District has previously held the AAA rating from Fitch, while this week's announcement from S&P represents a ratings upgrade for the District.

"The AAA credit rating is the gold standard for strong financial management and responsible long-term planning," said Moulton Niguel Board Vice President Brian Probolsky, who serves as chairman of the District's finance committee. "We've earned the highest credit rating by keeping our rates low, reinvesting ratepayer funds back into reliable infrastructure, and maintaining access to a safe and reliable water supply."

"With the highest credit rating, Moulton Niguel can help our customers save money by lowering our District's borrowing costs for major infrastructure projects," added the District's General Manager Joone Lopez.

Moulton Niguel Praised for Affordable Rates, Strong Financial Management
In its independent financial analysis released Tuesday, Fitch concluded that Moulton Niguel continued to meet its AAA rating standards by maintaining a "healthy financial profile," "favorable debt metrics," and "affordable rates." It also pointed to Moulton Niguel's exceptional debt service coverage with available funds to account for nearly two years' worth of debt payments.

"The rating reflects our view of the district's extremely strong enterprise and financial risk profiles," S&P Global Ratings stated in its 2019 independent analysis of the District. "In addition, the upgrade is supported by strong financial management, strong finances and overall very strong service area economy."

Moulton Niguel maintains the lowest average bill in South Orange County. That wasn't lost on analysts at S&P Global Ratings, who noted "the district's combined water and wastewater rates are affordable."

Moulton Niguel's triple-A credit rating comes as the District receives accolades for its environmental stewardship and sustainable practices. In December 2018, the District was awarded the state's highest environmental honor for its efforts to protect local creeks, watersheds, and beaches from pollution.

Moulton Niguel Water District provides high-quality drinking water, recycled water and wastewater treatment services to customers in Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano and Dana Point. A leader in environmental protection, Moulton Niguel maintains the lowest average bill in South Orange County.

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