The bond for the City of Missoula’s municipal water company has earned an A-plus rating from S&P Global, plus the 2017 bonds were upgraded from A to A-plus.

Leigh Griffing, City of Missoula Finance Director said the Missoula Water ratepayers will benefit from the ratings upgrade in several ways.

“What this means is that we will be able to refinance into long term bonds with a lower fixed interest rate than we had anticipated,” said Griffing. “Folks are not going to see that change in their water bills because it means that we will not have to increase rates in the near future.”

Griffing explained how the city was able to upgrade the bond ratings.

“We actually asked Standard and Poors if they would review our rating after the water utility had been under city ownership and management for more than 18 months, and in a positive interest rate environment it was time to look into that long range financing,” she said. “We were operating the system well, we were meeting all our benchmarks, so there was a possibility of getting an upgrade.”

Griffing explained the long term financial benefits of the upgrade.

“It means over the life of the bond there will be almost a million dollars in savings on interest payments,” she said.

A press release stated that the City will continue to service the debt with water utility revenues, and there will be no effect on taxes.

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