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Municipal Districts Purchase Millions in Projects with help of State Treasurer’s Office

Fire Truck of Lewis County Fire District 15 - Winlock Fire & Rescue

OLYMPIA – The Office of the State Treasurer (OST) financed over $40 million of projects with the sale of a series of Certificates of Participation (COPs) this week that will provide funding for local districts, state agencies, and colleges across Washington. This latest round of financing facilitates the construction of a new facility, and the purchase of fire protection support, fleet vehicles, and other critical acquisitions at low tax-exempt interest rates. The participants included six municipal districts, three colleges, and one state agency.

“With interest rates on the rise, leveraging our state’s outstanding credit ratings (Aaa/AA+/AA+) to the benefit of local partners for local projects is more important than ever,” said Washington State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti. “Our focus remains on supporting lasting government partnerships that will make projects and purchases as affordable as possible, to better serve communities around the state and make government more effective for all.”

COPs, which are sold three times a year, pool financing requests from state agencies and local governments into a publicly sold security. This allows state agencies, as well as local partners in OST’s Local Option Capital Asset Lending Program (LOCAL Program) to acquire equipment and real estate under the umbrella of the state’s credit. This process leverages Washington’s strong ratings to help local governments secure financing at the lowest possible interest rates – ultimately reducing costs and saving taxpayer dollars.

Lewis County Fire Protection District 15 partnered with OST in this week’s sale as a LOCAL Program Participant to finance the purchase of a new fire truck that the district expects to be in service by the end of the year. The district has participated in the LOCAL Program two times in the past, financing two ambulances in 2013 and 2022 respectively.

“The new pumper tender will be a major upgrade for the fire district and will support our fire response teams for many years to come,” said Lewis County Fire Protection District 15 Fire Chief Richard Underdahl. “As with any major purchase we want to make sure we’re keeping costs as low as possible, which is why we partnered with the Treasurer’s Office to finance the vehicle at lower interest rates than what would be available otherwise.”

This week’s sale of COPs also financed two school buses for Ocean Beach School District 101 in Pacific County the construction of a building to house fire protection equipment for Clallam County Fire Protection District 4, and $1.5 million of new road maintenance equipment for the City of Leavenworth. The COP sale also financed the purchase of $33.5 million in service vehicles and electronic equipment for various state agencies through the Department of Enterprise Services.

In addition to financing new projects and equipment for state agencies and local districts across the State, OST also provided an avenue for three colleges to obtain low-interest financing. Western Washington University, Seattle Community College, and Renton Technical College gained assistance in purchasing new electronic equipment, solar panels, and a cargo vehicle as participants in the COP program, all totaling $887,872.

In Fiscal Year 2023, OST’s COP program helped local municipalities and state agencies finance $56,515,000 in property and equipment at the lowest possible cost for participants.