It also issued a Negative Rating Outlook because of the possibility of leveraging and drainage management responsibilities that the district would have to cover after a drainage settlement with the United States, according to a news release.
Fitch’s credit and bond ratings range from AAA to D, and an AA rating is defined as denoting “expectations of very low default risk,” and indicating “very strong capacity for payment of financial commitments.” A score of AA suggests that foreseeable events aren’t expected to change the rating.
Westlands Water District covers 614,700 acres in Fresno and Kings counties and provides water to a predominantly agricultural community, which produces approximately $1.5 billion in crops annually.
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The Fitch ratings, announced Tuesday, come after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fined Westlands Water District $125,000 this March for allegedly misrepresenting debt and revenue figures during bond sales in 2012.