OREANDA-NEWS. S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'AA-' long-term rating to El Dorado Irrigation District, Calif.'s series 2016C refunding revenue bonds. At the same time, we affirmed our 'AA-' long-term rating on the district's existing parity-lien revenue bonds and certificates of participation (COPs). We also affirmed the long-term component of the dual rating on the district's series 2008A adjustable-rate refunding revenue COPs (AA+/A-1). The 'A-1' short-term component of the dual rating remains unchanged. The outlook on the fixed-rate bond and COP ratings is stable.

"The 'AA-' long-term rating reflects, in our opinion, the combination of a very strong enterprise risk profile and a very strong financial risk profile," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Tim Tung.

The enterprise risk profile reflects our view of the district's:Service area participation in the broad and diverse Sacramento-Roseville-Arden Arcade metropolitan statistical area, as demonstrated through the service area's strong household income metrics;Very low industry risk as a monopolistic service provider of an essential public utility;Track record of recent rate increases driving strong operating revenues; andStrong operational management practices and policies. The financial risk profile reflects our view of the district's:Strong all-in coverage metrics ranging from 1.4x to 2.1x during the past four years although we anticipate coverage will decline to about 1.2x in the near term as annual debt service requirements rise in 2017; Very strong unrestricted cash balances totaling $55 million at the end of fiscal year 2015, equivalent to 456 days of operating expenses;Moderate leverage position based on a debt-to-capitalization ratio of about 49% although the district's pension plan had a 66% funded ratio as of June 2014; and Good financial management practices and policies. A very strong enterprise risk profile and a very strong financial risk profile map to an indicative rating in our revenue debt criteria matrix of 'aa/aa-', and we have selected the 'aa-' anchor based on the district's substantially rising debt service requirements in the near term that we anticipate will pressure coverage metrics.

The series 2016C bonds are being issued to refund the district's existing series 2008A variable-rate COPs.