published on July 13, 2016 - 11:39 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Fitch Ratings has removed Westlands Water District from its negative ratings watch list and affirmed its ratings on the District’s bonds.

Fitch issued a similar upgrade on the bonds of San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority (SLDMWA).

Fitch’s ratings move on Westlands include:

–$97.3 million revenue certificates of participation (COPs), series 2005A, 2007A, 2007B and 2008A, at ‘AA-‘;

–$22.1 million revenue COPs series 2008A (bank bonds) at ‘AA-‘;

–$74.2 million revenue refunding bonds series 2012A at ‘AA-‘.

Fitch’s ratings adjustment on SLDMWA covers the authority’s $29.8 million refunding revenue bonds (Delta Habitat Conservation and Conveyance Project), series 2013A, at ‘AA-‘.

“We are pleased with Fitch’s decision to affirm the rating of AA- and remove the negative watch rating based on the actions the District has taken to insure proper reporting in the future,” said a statement issued by Westlands on Wednesday.

The revised rating follows similar action by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services, which also removed its CreditWatch rating and affirmed its ‘A+’ long-term rating for Westlands Water District.

As a result of its analysis, Fitch also issued a negative outlook rating over additional drainage responsibility that Westlands will be required to manage under the drainage settlement reached between Westlands Water District and the United States government.

“Westlands Water District looks forward to the enactment of the drainage legislation pending in Congress and to working with farmers and the Department of Interior to implement a program that fulfills the obligations contained within the agreement,” said the statement from Westlands.

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