Atlanta plans new water-sewer bonds issue

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - Atlanta officials hope to issue $500 million to
$700 million in new bonds to help finance the city's $4 billion water and sewer system overhaul.

Much of the money would go to refund old debt.

The bond issue set for Monday comes as the City Council studies
a new audit of the city's Watershed Management Department that
questions the way Atlanta has set rates and notes the department's
huge debt.

The city carries a bond rating for the sewer utility one step
above junk-bond status. One step down could mean a substantial
increase in interest rates.

State and federal governments once were expected to pay at least
half the cost of the masive project.

About $3 billion of the work is required by two federal consent decrees that force Atlanta to repair its aging pipes to protect waterways.

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