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The two largest local utility service providers have been playing the bond market. And winning for their customers, they say.
The city of Austin and the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) have joined a recent national trend and refinanced bonds sold in the 1980s for construction projects.
When those bonds were sold, the interest rate was often in double digits. But it has now dropped to 7 percent or less, enough to make refinancing profitable.
In fact, it has been so profitable, both entities said, they can maintain their current utility rate charges for two to four years because of the savings.
Such refinancings are complex because of federal …