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South King Fire and Rescue is now the highest bond-rated fire district in the state

South King Fire and Rescue is now the highest bond-rated fire district in the state.

SKFR recently was awarded a bond rating of AA+ by Standard and Poor's, which publishes financial research as well as analysis on stocks and bonds.

A higher bond rating shows a higher credit quality; a higher credit quality means the bonds are a better buy for investors. A higher score indicates that the issuer can make its payments. South King Fire and Rescue's rating of AA+ is considered a safe investment with little chance of failure. A higher bond rating is a win-win situation: Investors can feel secure in a strong investment and the issuer, in this case the fire district, can get the best rate and highest return for its bonds.

Bond ratings range from AAA (the strongest) to D, which is the lowest and means the issuer has defaulted on a loan.

The district sought a new bond rating in advance of its plan of refinancing the current Des Moines bond issue, which was taken out in 1997, before Des Moines joined with SKFR in 2006. Only Des Moines residents pay for this bond.

The refinancing of the bond would allow Des Moines residents to pay less each year for the bond.

Standard and Poor's rating was based on the three main components, according to a report: The district's stable and diverse economic base, a record of consistently very strong financial position on a cash basis and the adoption of a five-year levy lid lift, which provides fiscal flexibility that allows the district to override state limitations on property tax growth.

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