South Whidbey Fire/EMS receives high bond rating grade

South Whidbey Fire/EMS can borrow money cheaply, thanks to a recent bond rating.

The district sought a grade from a rating agency as part of the process of issuing a bond to pay for construction costs for its new Bayview fire station. District officials presented financial details to S&P Global Ratings, and came back with good news for South Whidbey’s citizens.

“We are very pleased to receive a rating grade of ‘AA’ from S&P,” Chief Rusty Palmer said. “A rating grade in the AA range is considered high quality.”

An “AA” rating is the second highest rating on the S&P scale. This is the first time the district has pursued a public bond rating grade.

According to commissioner Kenon Simmons, the grade reflects the district is well-managed and has sound financial policies and practices.

“The higher the rating grade, the lower the interest cost,” Simmons said.

The bond rating grade was based on a number of factors: strong fund balances in the current expense fund, strength of local economy, growth in assessed value, updated financial management policy and experienced management.