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CLEVELAND WATER REVENUE BOND RATING UPGRADED BY TWO PRINCIPAL RATING AGENCIES

 CLEVELAND WATER REVENUE BOND RATING UPGRADED
 BY TWO PRINCIPAL RATING AGENCIES
 CLEVELAND, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The nation's two principal bond rating agencies announced on Feb. 24 upgrades in their valuation of the City of Cleveland Division of Water's revenue bond issue expected to be offered for sale this week.
 Moody's Investors Service Rating Desk raised their valuation of the Cleveland Waterworks Improvement First Mortgage Revenue Bonds, Series F, 1992 from "A" to "A1" -- the highest rating held by the Division of Water since 1977.
 Standard & Poor's Credit Wire raised its valuation of the issue from "A" to "A plus".
 The bond issue to be offered this week includes $168,760,000 in First Mortgage Revenue Bonds, Series F, 1992 A, and $117,245,000 in First Mortgage Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series F, 1992 B. Proceeds from the issue will be used to finance water treatment plant expansion, improvements to pumping stations, water mains, control and communications systems, as well as to provide for the refunding of portions of the system's Series E 1987 bonds.
 Mayor Michael R. White called the announcements "very good news," adding that the upgrades "affirms the emphasis we place on maintaining a standard of excellence in service to both our city and suburban customers.
 "We believe this upgrade is a reflection of the confidence the bond rating agencies have in what we have been doing here, even in the face of a recession," said White. "Cleveland's continued emergence is bolstered by our abundant supply of the highest quality water and a very professional organization to deliver it."
 In Moody's announcement, the rating agency cited "the system's established and diverse service area, satisfactory financial operations, absence of significant additional borrowing and strong management and facilities planning," as primary reasons for its upgrade.
 Moody's also said the division has "recognized and anticipated regional development patterns while building redundancies into the (water) system configuration. System stability is further enhanced by the lack of dependence upon any one customer and an abundant supply of good quality water. Rates sufficient to support the new debt have already been approved by the city council."
 The Standard & Poor's announcement cited "continued strength of the system's regional service area economy, the increased flexibility of the capital program, continued sound financial performance, and (water) rates that will remain competitive despite approved increases to support the capital program."
 Michael G. Konicek, director of Cleveland's Department of Utilities, said the upgrades would provide substantial savings in interest expense to the city over the life of the issue.
 "We're gratified that the system has been recognized for the excellence of its management, financial performance and progress in moving forward with renovation of its asset base," said Konicek. "We provide high-quality service to Cleveland and 67 communities in Cuyahoga, Summit and Medina counties."
 Konicek added that more than $370 million has been invested in upgrading the water delivery system for its 380,000 customers in the last 15 years.
 -0- 2/25/92
 /CONTACT: Alan Seifullah, 216-664-2238, Mary Rose Coburn, 216-664-2239, or Joe Skrabec, 216-664-4529, all of the city of Cleveland/ CO: The City of Cleveland ST: Ohio IN: SU:


LC -- CL018 -- 2498 02/25/92 16:04 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 25, 1992
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