PLAQUEMINE - The City of Plaquemine received an A+ bond credit rating on its $5 million bond issue for the construction of the new sewer treatment plant.

“This is a very strong rating,” said bond attorney Jason Akers of the Foley & Judell law firm, which is assisting the city with the bond issue.

The high rating means the city will get the bonds at a lower interest rate than if it had received an A or B rating. The difference means tens of thousands of dollars in savings on interest paid by the city over the life of the 20-year term of the bonds.

A bond credit rating represents the worthiness of the government bonds and the A+ rating reflects a strong capacity to meet the financial commitments of the bonds.

“We were very pleased to receive this rating,” Mayor Mark A. “Tony” Gulotta said. “It reflects the efforts we have made to operate efficiently and conservatively and to make sure our city’s finances are solid and we have the proper reserves.”

The city purchased 17 acres of land in a cane field in south Plaquemine where the new sewer plant will be built, allowing a large buffer area around the plant.

Tullier Services, Inc. has been awarded the project and construction of the new plant is expected to begin in November.

The $11.43 million facility, along with the purchase of the property and extension of the sewer trunk line from the existing plant on W.W. Harleaux Street to the new plant site and then to the Mississippi River, will be funded with the bonds, a low interest loan of .9 percent from the La. Department of Environmental Quality and the city’s portion of the federal Hurricane Gustav recovery funds.

The existing plant, which is more than 60 years old and has reached capacity, will be converted to a lift station after the new plant is completed.