Jul 11 2018

Rating agencies reaffirm Morgantown Utility Board governance and management practices

Standard & Poor provide A+ rating while Moody’s provides A1 rating

The financial rating agencies of both Standard & Poor (S&P) and Moody’s have reaffirmed the previously high ratings of A+ and A1, respectively. These ratings, first earned in 2016 for the funding of major wastewater treatment plant upgrades that are underway today, are the direct result of Morgantown Utility Board’s sound financial management and comprehensive approach to long-term planning.

“These ratings are extremely reinforcing because they are testaments of MUB’s commitment to our ratepayers, directors and employees. They confirm our management and governance success in ensuring our ability to meet our mission of protecting public health,” said MUB General Manager Tim Ball.

From a financial standpoint, high S&P and Moody’s ratings mean that MUB bonds are more attractive to potential investors, and as a result, may be issued at lower interest rates.

“Our financial standing is extremely important in that they permit us to do the work required of our mission while keeping our rates among the lowest in the state. Such positive ratings save our customers real money while permitting MUB to grow with the community,” Ball said.

For MUB, this means making the largest infrastructure investments by a public utility in West Virginia history.

“Strong financial management and comprehensive system planning enable us to make the necessary improvements to our sanitary sewer system, upgrade our Star City Wastewater Treatment Plant, protect our water treatment and distribution system against power failure, and construct a secondary raw water source along Cobun Creek,” Ball said. “This is critical to the continued growth, prosperity, and health of our community.”

Ball adds that these ratings not only reflect on MUB but the community as a whole.

“Our community as a whole plays a role in such ratings. Recent job reductions by a large community employer posed a significant challenge in the rating process that we were able to overcome. Conversely, because MUB’s board of directors, Morgantown’s City Council, and the members of our community understand the need to grow and grow smartly, we are upheld as an industry leader,” he said. “It’s one more reason why Morgantown is repeatedly recognized as one of the best small towns in America.”