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HEMET UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT (CALIF.)'s $10.2 MILLION CERTIFICATES OF PARTICIPATION RATED 'BBB+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Hemet Unified School District, Calif.'s $10.2 million Certificates of Participation, 1993 Refunding Project, are rated 'BBB+' by Fitch. The certificates are expected through negotiation by PaineWebber, Inc. during the week of Aug. 9. The credit trend is stable.
 Ratings are withdrawn on two district certificates of participation that were retired from state construction aid, Valle Vista Elementary School 1990 Construction Project and Fruitvale Elementary School 1991 Construction Project.
 Hemet Unified School District exhibits strong capital planning and financial management, and has been highly successful in obtaining state construction aid to fund its substantial capital program. The district has undertaken an ambitious and well conceived school construction program to meet rapid enrollment growth, now totaling about 13,500 students. Most of the district's construction costs have been provided by state construction aid funded from voter-approved state general obligation bonds. With the completion of projects currently underway, the district should have sufficient classroom capacity to meet the expected 3 percent annual enrollment growth rate over the next five years. If rapid growth re-emerges, capacity can be expanded by implementing year-round school schedules.
 Lease provisions are strong, including a covenant by the district to budget and appropriate lease rentals. Rental payments on these certificates are intended to be funded from tax increments received from the Hemet Redevelopment Agency. Tax increment projections appear reasonable and taxes should cover most, if not all rental payments. The district's general resources also are available if the tax increments are insufficient to service the certificates. Direct debt per capita is low at $129. Despite significant issuance by overlapping units to address growth, overall debt per capita is $787. Overall debt levels are affordable as debt as a percent of the district's large market value is 2.2 percent.
 Located in Riverside County, the district covers 750 square miles, making it the state's largest in relation to area. Rapid residential development has slowed significantly due to the recession affecting most of Southern California; however, continued but moderate growth is forecast. Income levels are somewhat below average due to the high concentration of retirees living on fixed incomes.
 Finances are sound, and the unaudited $1.6 million unreserved general fund balance for fiscal 1993 would represent more than 3 percent of revenues. District population is estimated at 120,000. Unemployment rates are relatively high but may not accurately reflect employment levels.
 -0- 7/30/93
 /CONTACT: Stewart Simon of Fitch, 212-908-0508/


CO: Hemet Unified School District ST: California IN: SU: RTG

SH -- NY021 -- 7655 07/30/93 10:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 30, 1993
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