Fort Myers, Florida, sold $139 million in bonds to fund capital improvements to the city’s utility system.
The bonds mature between 2029 and 2045, yielding between 3.58% and 4.67%. They received a rating of Aa3 from Moody’s Investors Service and AA- from S&P Global Ratings.
The rating reflects the Fort Myers Water and Sewer Enterprise’s “sound liquidity and high debt service coverage which will be supported in the medium term through revenue growth in its customer base, increased rates and interlocal sales,” according to Moody’s.
The issuance comes amid a statewide push to increase Florida’s clean water supply, which was ravaged by Hurricane Ian last year. Researchers estimate that the hurricane, which made landfall near Fort Myers, caused $110 billion in damage. Earlier this summer, state legislators announced $125 million in water infrastructure projects in basins near Fort Myers.
Proceeds from the sale of the bonds will finance the utility’s capital improvement plan. Significant components of the plan include projects that will expand the city’s supply of wells, build a disinfection system for the nearby city of Cape Coral, and upgrade wastewater treatment plants.
Fort Myers is a city of almost 100,000 people located in southwest Florida along the Gulf Coast. The bonds are special obligations of the city, payable by revenue from the water and sewer system.
Raymond James & Associates, Inc served as lead underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds for $145 million. The price reflected a premium of $6 million.