Mukilteo benefits from its great AAA credit rating

MUKILTEO — If this was a mortgage, the city just got a steal of a deal.

Acting on the heels of news that this city’s credit rating got a big boost, the City Council last week authorized the sale of $12.6 million in bonds to pay for a new community center.

The council’s 5-1 vote was a bit of a formality, since on Aug. 25 it had given Mayor Joe Marine the OK to move forward so long as the city secured an interest rate of less than 4.3 percent.

“It has been a long time coming,” Marine told the council. “Maybe there was a reason this took this long to have just the right project at just the right time.”

The project will replace Rosehill Community Center, an 82-year-old former school at 304 Lincoln Ave. Various organizations use the center.

Standard &Poor’s earlier this month boosted the city’s credit rating from AA2 to AAA, the highest rating obtainable. “Triple A is the best rating a city can have, and it is unusual for a city of Mukilteo’s size to have a rating that good,” said Alice Ostdiek, municipal bond attorney for the Seattle law firm Foster Pepper.

The city received a 3.54 percent annual interest rate averaged over 20 years. Over that time, the city will pay a total of $18.25 million for the new center — $12,585,000 for the bonds and $5,640,513.85 in interest, according to documents provided to the city by D.A. Davidson &Co.

“These are just great rates,” said Jack McLaughlin, vice president of public finance for D.A. Davidson &Co., the brokerage firm that handled the bond sale.

The higher bond rating means the city will save money over the 20 years it pays back the debt on the bonds purchased by investors Sept. 10, said Scott James, the city’s finance director.

He said the city can expect to save $744,236 through 2029 because of the lower interest rate it received as a result of the boost in its bond rating, which is similar to an individual’s credit rating improving.

Those bonds will be repaid without a tax increase, financed with real-estate excise taxes, which the city collects whenever property is sold.

Construction bids have generally been low during the recession, officials said, and the low bid on the new community center was about 37 percent below the city’s original estimate.

Last year, the council voted to abandon plans to renovate Rosehill and to have it torn down in the future. In a 2007 advisory vote, voters indicated they preferred a new building to renovation, 52.3 percent to 47.7 percent.

Plans call for Rosehill to stand until the new building is built.

Though most council members favored the new community center plan, Kevin Stoltz and Tony Tinsley argued against it.

Tinsley was absent during Thursday’s vote.

Stoltz said he was opposed to the plan because it doesn’t include a gymnasium and the community center was “more of a want-to than a have-to.”

Tinsley had argued that the city’s income projections were overly rosy.

Oscar Halpert: 425-339-3429,

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

Deborah Wade (photo provided by Everett Public Schools)
Everett teacher died after driving off Tulalip road

Deborah Wade “saw the world and found beauty in people,” according to her obituary. She was 56.

Snohomish City Hall on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish may sell off old City Hall, water treatment plant, more

That’s because, as soon as 2027, Snohomish City Hall and the police and public works departments could move to a brand-new campus.

Lewis the cat weaves his way through a row of participants during Kitten Yoga at the Everett Animal Shelter on Saturday, April 13, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Downward cat? At kitten yoga in Everett, it’s all paw-sitive vibes

It wasn’t a stretch for furry felines to distract participants. Some cats left with new families — including a reporter.

FILE - In this Friday, March 31, 2017, file photo, Boeing employees walk the new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner down towards the delivery ramp area at the company's facility in South Carolina after conducting its first test flight at Charleston International Airport in North Charleston, S.C. Federal safety officials aren't ready to give back authority for approving new planes to Boeing when it comes to the large 787 jet, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. The plane has been plagued by production flaws for more than a year.(AP Photo/Mic Smith, File)
Boeing pushes back on Everett whistleblower’s allegations

Two Boeing engineering executives on Monday described in detail how panels are fitted together, particularly on the 787 Dreamliner.

Ferry workers wait for cars to start loading onto the M/V Kitsap on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Struggling state ferry system finds its way into WA governor’s race

Bob Ferguson backs new diesel ferries if it means getting boats sooner. Dave Reichert said he took the idea from Republicans.

Traffic camera footage shows a crash on northbound I-5 near Arlington that closed all lanes of the highway Monday afternoon. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Woman dies almost 2 weeks after wrong-way I-5 crash near Arlington

On April 1, Jason Lee was driving south on northbound I-5 near the Stillaguamish River bridge when he crashed into a car. Sharon Heeringa later died.

Owner Fatou Dibba prepares food at the African Heritage Restaurant on Saturday, April 6, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Oxtail stew and fufu: Heritage African Restaurant in Everett dishes it up

“Most of the people who walk in through the door don’t know our food,” said Fatou Dibba, co-owner of the new restaurant at Hewitt and Broadway.

A pig and her piglets munch on some leftover food from the Darrington School District’s cafeteria at the Guerzan homestead on Friday, March 15, 2024, in Darrington, Washington. Eileen Guerzan, a special education teacher with the district, frequently brings home food scraps from the cafeteria to feed to her pigs, chickens and goats. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
‘A slopportunity’: Darrington school calls in pigs to reduce food waste

Washingtonians waste over 1 million tons of food every year. Darrington found a win-win way to divert scraps from landfills.

Foamy brown water, emanating a smell similar to sewage, runs along the property line of Lisa Jansson’s home after spilling off from the DTG Enterprises property on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Snohomish, Washington. Jansson said the water in the small stream had been flowing clean and clear only a few weeks earlier. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Neighbors of Maltby recycling facility assert polluted runoff, noise

For years, the DTG facility has operated without proper permits. Residents feel a heavy burden as “watchdogs” holding the company accountable.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.