CFA issues $400M in bonds for H2O PA water infrastructure projects

HARRISBURG, PA, Nov. 16, 2009 -- The Commonwealth Financing Authority has issued $400 million in bonds to fund water, water infrastructure and wastewater systems and high hazard dam projects, representing the first installment of the commonwealth's H2O PA program...

• AA- rating reflects sound fiscal management, solid credit

HARRISBURG, PA, Nov. 16, 2009 -- The Commonwealth Financing Authority has issued $400 million in bonds to fund water, water infrastructure and wastewater systems and high hazard dam projects, representing the first installment of the commonwealth's H2O PA program, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary George Cornelius said today.

"It's more important than ever to invest in the health and safety of our people and create the environment for economic development when the economic recovery comes," Cornelius said. "These funds will now be put to use improving water, water infrastructure and wastewater systems throughout the state."

The CFA, established as a major component of Governor Rendell's original economic development program in 2004, is an independent authority that makes grants, loans, guarantees and other financing arrangements to boost job creation, economic activity and the business environment.

To date, the CFA has approved 305 H2O PA projects, totaling $552 million.

The H2O PA program, Act 63 of 2008, authorized the CFA to issue up to $800 million for acquisition, construction, improvement, repair or rehabilitation of water supply, sewage disposal, storm water or flood control systems or high hazard unsafe dams. This $400 million bond issue is the first installment of H2O PA funds.

Applications for the next round of H2O PA funds are due by July 1, 2010.

The CFA designated the bonds as "Build America Bonds" under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Build America Bonds are taxable bonds with an interest rate subsidized by the federal government. Last month, Fitch rated the bonds as AA-.

The CFA is staffed through the Department of Community and Economic Development and is governed by a seven-member board which includes executive and legislative appointees.

For more information, visit newpa.com or call 1-866-466-3972.

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