Office of the State Treasurer Partners with Local Governments to Finance New Projects
The Office of the State Treasurer (OST) sold a series of Certificates of Participation (COPs) this week that will provide funds to local districts across Washington, financing new equipment, emergency vehicles and land acquisitions.
Proceeds from the three-times-yearly sale of COPs finance purchases requested by local partners through OST’s Local Option Capital Asset Lending Program (LOCAL Program). This process leverages Washington’s strong credit rating to help local governments secure financing at lower interest rates – ultimately reducing total project costs and saving taxpayer dollars.
The sale will finance purchases of school buses, fire engines, ambulances, police vehicles and land with seven local governments:
- City of Poulsbo
- San Juan County Public Hospital District 1
- Lewis County Fire Protection District 1
- Lewis County Fire Protection District 15
- Oak Harbor School District 201
- South Kitsap School District 402
- Naches Valley School District 3
“Good stewardship of public finances is the core of our mission at the Treasury and as interest rates around the country continue to rise, partnering with local governments to save every possible dollar becomes even more essential,” said Washington State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti. “The LOCAL Program produces the tangible results of our efforts to maintain outstanding credit, helping to get more school buses and fire trucks in our communities to make government work better for all.”
Just Northwest of Yakima, nestled in the foothills of Mt. Clemans, the Naches Valley School District serves approximately 1,250 students at their new elementary school, middle school and comprehensive high school.
“As a smaller school district, it is important that we enter into any debt in a manner that allows us to continue to be good stewards of our taxpayer dollars,” said Wandah Messinger, Director of Business and Operations for the Naches Valley School District. “We looked at several funding options for our land purchase and determined that the LOCAL Program was our best option for financing the debt on the property. With help from the Office of the State Treasurer, we have been able to match the debt to our anticipated development timeframe at competitive interest rates without overextending ourselves.”
Acquiring the land outright will save costs for the district and serve as a potential site for future development and projects.
Before Thursday’s sale, OST has delivered $1,439,220,000 in funding to participants of the Certificates of Participation Program over approximately the last 10 years, providing the lowest possible financing cost for state and local government participants across Washington.
The state’s Certificates of Participation are highly rated, receiving an impressive rating of Aa1 from Moody’s, helping to keep interest rates low in financing of projects and purchases.