Gov. Justice announces that $55.2 million in bonds have been sold for State Park improvements, another major step forward for WV’s tourism industry
CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice said today that on Tuesday the state of West Virginia sold $55.2 million in excess lottery revenue bonds, issued through the West Virginia Economic Development Authority (WVEDA), to fund $60 million in state park improvement projects to promote economic development and help grow tourism.
“West Virginia has needed to update and improve our state parks for years and I committed to getting this done and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” Gov. Justice said. “These bonds will fund improvements that will modernize and make our state parks so much more attractive as we continue to grow and expand our tourism industry. This is a big day for West Virginia and our state parks.”
Debt service on the bonds will be paid from revenues deposited in the Excess Lottery Revenue Fund which primarily include net profits of racetrack video lottery and limited video lottery machines.
The bonds received strong ratings of “AAA” by S&P Global and “A1” by Moody’s Investor Services.
This financing was a collaborative effort among State representatives from the Governor’s Office, the Division of Natural Resources, the WVEDA, the Department of Administration and the Lottery Commission.
State representatives worked expeditiously, in a rising interest rate environment, to bring the bonds to market as quickly as possible to lock in an attractive all in borrowing cost on the 20-year bonds of 3.65%.
The bonds in the first 10 years were well received by the market and garnered investor orders in excess of the bonds being offered. Later year maturities, particularly 2031 to 2039, were priced at attractive credit spreads of 35 basis points over the MMD municipal index. These credit spreads represent the second most aggressive pricing levels in recent history of state-backed lottery bonds.
“The solid pricing results are a testament to the strong state lottery ratings, importance of the state park projects and continued commitment from Wall Street to invest in the State of West Virginia,” Gov. Justice added.