Omaha, Neb. -- Citing “good financial management practices and policies,” Standard & Poor’s upgraded Metropolitan Utilities District’s water system bond rating to “AA-" with a “stable outlook.” M.U.D. was previously rated “A+” by the rating agency.
“We are pleased that Standard & Poor’s recognized the significant progress the District has made in the areas of financial management and policy oversight over the past few years,” said M.U.D. President Scott Keep. “This upgrade affirms the fiscal discipline our Board has encouraged and our staff has executed while continuing to focus on ensuring our water rates remain affordable and reasonable for all of our customers.”
In addition to noting M.U.D.’s good liquidity, Standard & Poor’s described the District’s service area as “strong” and the Omaha area economy as “broad and diverse.” M.U.D. serves more than 200,000 water and natural gas customers located within 241 square miles in Omaha and nearby communities. In 2015, its 10 largest water customers represented only 5.2 percent of revenue, a statistic that speaks to the diversity of the Omaha economy. The rating agency also described M.U.D.’s debt service coverage as “extremely strong,” noting the District’s “low leverage and manageable capital improvement plan.”
M.U.D.’s Chief Financial Officer Deb Schneider said, “When necessary, the District sells bonds in the capital markets and our upgraded bond rating means our bonds can be sold at lower interest rates. This upgrade is an outside endorsement of the focus the District and its Board has had to improve liquidity and operate within sound fiscal policies.”
About Metropolitan Utilities District
M.U.D. provides safe, reliable, and cost-effective natural gas and water services to our community. We serve safe drinking water to 208,256 customers in the metropolitan Omaha area and maintain nearly 27,000 hydrants for fire protection. As the fifth largest public gas utility in the United States, we also serve natural gas to 224,950 customers. We are a public utility and proud to be customer-owned. The District is governed by a board of seven directors, elected by our customer-owners. Visit www.mudomaha.com for more information.