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ATLANTA'S $270 MILLION WATER AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM REVENUE BONDS RATED 'A+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Atlanta's $270 million water and sewerage system revenue bonds, series 1993 are rated "A+" by Fitch. The credit trend is stable. The bonds are to be issued the week of Sept. 27 by an underwriting syndicate led by Merrill Lynch & Co. and Pryor, McClendon, Counts & Co., Inc.
 The rating reflects the system's good financial position enhanced by strong historical fiscal performance. While debt service coverage is expected to moderate from past levels due to an extensive capital improvement program, it is likely to remain quite healthy. The service territory, which includes areas outside of the city, is experiencing good economic growth, with general stability expected within the city limits. Water and sewer rates are well below competing areas and should remain competitive going forward. Sufficient water supply is projected through at least 2010.
 Concerns center on a sizable increase in outstanding debt to fund the capital program, a large portion of which is mandated by state and federal environmental regulations. Additionally, increases in water and sewer rates as well as capital program debt authorization appear politically sensitive.
 The 1993 bonds will be issued to refund all debt currently outstanding and to finance the first phase of a major capital improvement program. The program is designed to reduce phosphorous discharges, treat combined sewer overflows, place water treatment facilities into compliance with regulations and upgrade certain system components. The cost of the capital improvement program over the next five years is approximately $665 million. In addition to the bonds, funds to finance the program will come from $189 million of parity debt to be issued in early 1994, contributions paid by other participating municipalities and excess revenues deposited in the system's renewal and extension fund.
 -0- 9/20/93
 /CONTACT: Rebecca Bachman, 212-908-0516, or Alan Spen, 212-908-0594, both of Fitch/


CO: ST: Georgia IN: SU: RTG

TW -- NY068 -- 3688 09/20/93 13:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 20, 1993
Words:318
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