The Metropolitan District of Hartford, Connecticut, sold $75 million in bonds to finance sewer, water, and public improvement projects.
The bonds mature between 2024 and 2043, yielding between 2.32% and 3.9%. They received a rating of Aa2 from Moody’s Investors Service and AA from S&P Global Ratings. The ratings marked an upgrade from both Moody’s and S&P.
The rating reflects the district’s “large and stable service area that is comprised of seven member municipalities with generally strong credit profiles including healthy resident wealth, stable economies and solid financial performance,” according to Moody’s.
The bonds will pay for the district’s Clean Water Project, a program to revitalize its aging water and sewer infrastructure. The project includes $2 billion in infrastructure improvements, financed primarily by bond issuances.
Voters in Connecticut authorized spending for the Clean Water Project in referendums in 2006 and 2012. Once it is completed, the project will reduce sewer overflows to the state’s streams and rivers, and reduce nitrogen discharges from sewage treatment plants. The state expects those improvements to clean up its bodies of water, including the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound.
Recent studies have shown that Connecticut’s rivers and streams are heavily polluted. A 2022 report by the Environmental Integrity Project, a nonprofit that advocates for stronger environmental laws, found that 58% of Connecticut’s state-assessed rivers and streams were too polluted for recreation, aquatic life, or water consumption. In the Long Island Sound, the study found that 35% of the state-assessed area was equally impaired.
The bonds are general obligations of the district, backed by its full faith and credit and secured by tax revenue.
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as lead underwriter on the issuance.