Northshore Fire Department refinances bonds, saves money

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Describing rating grade and bond refinancing for Northshore Fire Department 

King County Fire Protection District No. 16 (Northshore Fire Department) is in the process of issuing Unlimited Tax General Obligation Refunding Bonds to refinance the 2009 Unlimited Tax General Obligation Bonds (which were issued for constructing and equipping the headquarters Fire Station 51) for interest cost savings. 

The District received the highest rating of AAA. The average annual reduction in the voted bond payment is $166,272 for the years 2020 through 2027. The District achieved a total net savings of $1,333,980 for taxpayers.

The District is very pleased to receive the highest rating grade of AAA, which is an upgrade from the AA+ rating previously received. This is a great accomplishment for the District and its citizens. 

Only one other fire district in the State of Washington has achieved the highest rating of AAA. We want to thank the Commissioners and District staff for all of their hard work.

The AAA bond rating grade was based on the following key factors: 1. Demonstrated track record of very strong fund balances in the General Fund; 2. Strength of the local economy; 3. Growth in assessed value; 4. Financial management practices and policies; and 5. Experienced management in operating the District in an efficient manner.

Board Chair, Suzanne Greathouse went on to say, “This bond rating upgrade from AA+ to AAA reflects that the District is very well-managed and has excellent financial policies and practices in place for the benefit of our taxpayers.

“The higher the rating grade, then the lower the interest cost. We are very pleased and proud to achieve the AAA rating grade.”

As part of the rating process, District staff prepared a presentation to S/P Global Ratings. The presentation team was comprised of Fire Chief Jim Torpin, Deputy Fire Chief Eric Magnuson, Finance Specialist Dawn Killion, Consulting CPA Tom Broetje (of CFO Selections), Board Chair Suzanne Greathouse, and Bond Underwriter Jim Nelson (of D.A. Davidson and Co.).

The team presented information and answered questions relating to management, finances, local economy and long-term planning. The Unlimited Tax General Obligation Refunding Bonds were underwritten by D.A. Davidson and Co., Trading and Public Finance Office in Seattle. The 8.5-year financing achieved a True Interest Cost percent of 1.78%.



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