Financial Position will Save Residents Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars on Bonds Needed for Emerging Contaminant Projects
Hicksville, NY (July 20, 2020) — The Hicksville Water District is proud to announce that Moody’s Investor Service has assigned the District’s Bonds an Aa1 rating in 2020. These ratings indicate that the District is in an extremely favorable financial position despite the current economic climate. The position will allow the District’s residents to save hundreds of thousands of dollars on the $7 million bond, authorized in 2018, which goes directly towards fighting emerging contaminants. The HWD will need to continue borrowing additional funding over the next several years to continue meeting and surpassing all updated State regulations.
“We are thrilled to have had Moody’s provide us with this high rating as it is reflective of this District’s responsible financial management,” said HWD Chairman William Schuckmann. “Our District’s high bond rating will keep leading to more improvements for infrastructure against emerging contaminants and ultimately help to minimize the financial impact to our residents for these required treatment projects.”
In a report released by Moody’s, the agency highlighted that the rating reflects the district’s well-sized tax base that will remain consistent with the rating despite the current economic pressures. The rating also incorporates the District’s very strong financial position highlighted by exceptionally strong cash and reserve balances as a percentage of revenues. For years, the District has been carefully managing its budgets in order to limit the impact of more than $70 million in infrastructure needed to treat for emerging contaminants.
While the District’s wholeheartedly agrees with New York State’s proposed regulations for the emerging contaminant 1,4-dioxane as it will provide higher-quality water for residents for generations to come, it has created an unfunded mandate that is expected to grow the District’s annual budget by approximately 50 percent. 10 of the District’s 12 water supply wells require 1,4-dioxane treatment which includes the installation of Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) vessels as well as the installation of systems known as the Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP). This state-of-the-art treatment combination has proven effective at completely removing 1,4-dixoane from drinking water.
“The safety of our residents is and will always be our foremost concern. Money or lack thereof was never going to stop us from starting these vitally important treatment project,” said Chairman Schuckmann. “We have been awarded grants from New York State and have been successful in lawsuits with polluters with many more filed. This pollution is not the fault of the water District or its residents, but we are unfortunately being saddled with picking up the tab. That does not sit well with this Board and we are using every tool available and power at our disposal to ensure our residents are not held financially liable for this treatment.”